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Highway Commission 

Bulletin No. 13 

Highway Location 

For Employees of the Department 

Compiled by 

Harry D. Blake 

Assistant Engineer 

Madison, Wisconsin 
Published by the State 

Highway Commission 


Highway Location 

Compiled by 

Harry D. Blake 

Assistant Engineer 

Published for the information of those em- 
ployees of the Department engaged in engi- 
neering work. Surveyors, inspectors, assist- 
ant division engineers and county Highway 
Commissioners should be familiar with its 

Madison, Wisconsin 
Published by the State 



John A. Hazelwood, Jefferson, Chairman 
W. O. Hotchkiss, Madison, Secretary 
F. E. Turneaure, Madison 
Al. C. Anderson, iMenomonie 
Fred Pabst, Oconomowoc 

State Chief Engineer 

J. D. G. Mack, Madison 


A. R. Hirst, State Highway Engineer 
M. W. Torkelson, Engineer Secretary 
H. J. Kuelling, Construction Engineer 
J. T. Donaghey, Maintenance Engineer 
W. C. Buetow, Bridge Engineer 
C. W. Thompson, Chief Clerk 

Division Engineers 

No. 1. Madison, A. L. Hambrecht 

No. 2. Milwaukee, C. R. Weymouth 

No. 3. Green Bay, O. C. Rollman 

No. 4. Wisconsin Rapids, F. F. Mengel 

No. 5. La Crosse, T. M. Reynolds 

No. 6. Eau Claire, H. W. Vroman 

No. 7. Rhinelander, F. M. Sergeant 

No. 8. Superior, J. R. McLean 

No. 9. Lancaster, T. W. Reilly 




Page No. 



General Supervision Al 11 

Supervision of Motor Equipment A2 11 

Responsibility for Preliminary Investiga- 
tions A3 11 

Administrative Duties A4 11 


General Requirements Bl 12 

Standard Railway Practice B2 12 

Standardization B3 12 

Conduct of Employees B4 13 

Additional Instructions B5 13 

Part I 



Reason for Comparison Ill 15 

Development of Highways 112 16 

Highway System as a Transportation Unit. 113 16 

Business Administration 114 16 

Traffic 115 16 

Principles of Location 116 17 

CATION 12 17 

General Preparation ; 121 17 

Training in Observation 122 17 

Physical Geography 123 18 

Geology 124 19 

Limitations 125 ' 19 

Summary 126 20 





Reason for Possible Changes 131 20 

Maps 132 21 

Earlier Conditions 133 22 

Preparations 134 22 

Procedure in Field 135 23 

Investigation in Heavy Timber 136 24 

Preliminaries 1361 24 

Section Line Roads • 1362 25 

County Surveyors 1363 25 

Field Investigations 1364 25 

Diagonal Routes 1365 26 . 

Elimination of Routes 137 27 

Relative Values 138 27 

Old Road vs. Relocation 138.01 27 

Method of Approach 138.02 28 

Alignment 138.03 28 

Lost Distance ....138.04 29 

Marshes and Sink Holes 138.05 29 

Elimination of Bridges 138.06 30 

Railway Crossings 138.07 30 

Earth Work 138.08 30 

Future Maintenance 138.09 31 

Maximum Grades 138.10 31 

Location for Grade Reductions 138.11 31 

Limiting Features 138.12 32 

Comparison of Routes 138.13 34 

Preliminary Estimates 138.14 34 

Reports 139 34 

Part II 




Schedule of Surveys 2111 36 

Personnel : 2112 36 

Uniform Personnel 21121 37 

Experienced Men 21122 37 

Chief of Party 21123 38 

Instrument Man 21124 39 

Rod Man 21125 40 

Two Parties 2113 40 



Character of Motor Equipment 2114 40 

Housing Problem 2115 41 


Issuing Equipment 2121 41 

Instrument 2122 41 

Transits 21221 41 

Levels 21222 43 

Steel Tapes 21223 43 

Tape Fasteners 21224 44 

Metallic Tapes 21225 ^ 44 

Chicago Rods 21226 44 

Range Rods 21227 44 

Supplies 2123 45 

MENTS 213 45 

Preliminary Discussion 2131 45 

Maps 2132 46 

Information from Office 2133 46 

Equipment 2134 46 


General Plan 2141 47 

Planning the Work 2142 47 

Bench Levels 2143 47 

Selection of Benches ...21431 48 

Marking Bench Marks 21432 48 

Datum 21433 49 

Record of Bench Marks 21434 49 

Adjustment of Levels 21435 50 

Check Levels for Stakes 21436 50 

Double Rodded Lines 21437 50 

Alignment 2144 51 

Center Line 2144.01 51 

Beginning 2144.02 51 

Stakes 2144.03 52 

Running the Line 2144.04 52 

Chaining 2144.05 53 

Foresights ..2144.06 55 

Plusses 2144.07 55 

Angles 2144.08 55 

Curves 2144.09 56 

Reference Points 2144.10 58 

Section Stones 2144.11 58 

Ends of Surveys 2144.12 58 

Setting Back Stakes 2144.13 59 

Reference Stakes 2144.14 59 

Physical Features 2144.15 60 



Topography 2145 60 

Buildings 21451 60 

Clearing and Grubbing 21452 60 

Rock 21453 61 

Cities and Villages 21454 61 

Road Intersections 21455 64 

Trees in Right of Way 21456 64 

Topographic Maps 21457 64 

Drainage 2146 65 

Location of Culverts 21461 65 

Drainage to Culverts 21462 65 

Underdrainage 21463 65 

Run Off 21464 65 

Soundings 21465 66 

Old Culverts 21466 66 

Cross Sections 2147 67 

Location of Sections 21471 67 

Procedure 21472 67 

Horizontal Measurements 21473 70 

Sections on Grades 21474 70 

Summary 21475 70 

Right of Way 2148 73 

General Consideration 21481 73 

Right of Way Maps 21482 73 

Master Plat 214821 73 

Individual Plat 214822 74 

Material Investigations 2149 74 

Classification of Materials 21491 74 


Necessity of Uniformity 2151 75 

Abbreviations 2152 75 

Arrangement of the Book 2153 79 

Specimen Notes for Situation Survey .... 21531 so 

Alignment Notes 2154 81 

Topographic Notes 2155 81 

* Drainage Notes 2156 84 

Cross Section Notes 2157 84 

Right of Way Notes 2158 84 

Soil and Material Notes 2159 85 


Definition of Terms 221 85 

Preliminary Investigations ...222 86 

Preliminary Surveys 223 86 

Method of Procedure 2231 86 


Location Surveys 224 87 

Grade Contours 224.01 88 

Transit Line 224.02 90 

Detailed Procedure 224.03 91 

Stakes 224.04 92 

Old Road 224.05 92 

Topography 224.06 92 

Bench Levels 224.07 93 

Drainage 224.08 93 

Cross Sections 224.09 94 

Right-of-Way Information 224.10 94 

Classification of Excavation 224.11 95 

Summary 225 95 

RE -SURVEYS 23 95 

Definition 231 95 

Causes for Re-Surveys 232 96 

Procedure 233 9 6 

Equations of Stationing 2331 96 

Elevations of Stationing 2332 97 

Right-of-Way Information 2333 97 


Classification 24.01 97 

Existing Structures 24.02 97 

Strength of Old Bridges 24.03 99 

Traffic 24.04 100 

Length of Span 24.05 101 

Special Information 24.06 101 

Standard Bridge Plans 24.07 102 

Type of Structures 24.08 103 

Roadway 24.09 105 

Soundings 24.10 105 

Foundations 24.11 106 

Wing- Walls 24.12 106 

Skewed Bridges 24.13 109 

Bridges in Connection with Road Projects. 24. 14 109 

Isolated Bridges* 24.15 110 

Bridge Survey Reports 24.16 111 


Important Features 251 112 

Plan Work in the Field 252 112 

Final Check Up 253 113 




Character of Operations of Department ... 261 113 

Surveys 262 114 

Classification of Surveys _ 2621 114 

Procedure 2622 115 


Policy of the Department 271 118 

Procedure in Staking Out 272 118 

Re-Cross Sectioning- 273 120 


This handbook is somewhat of a departure 
from precedent in that an effort has been made 
to indicate how certain operations are to be con- 
ducted rather than merely to say what must be 
done. If it is of any assistance to the new em- 
ployee in gaining a knowledge of highway de- 
sign, or to the older men in learning to appre- 
ciate the necessity of thorough training in the 
fundamentals of location and surveying, its pur- 
pose will be accomplished. 

Criticism and suggestions will be welcomed 
and it is requested that employees who develop 
better methods of procedure and who have defi- 
nite suggestions for improvements and additions 
in the text will send them to the main office in 
written form. 

The writer wishes to thank the Division Engi- 
neers for their advice and cooperation, the As- 
sistant Engineers who prepared the papers 
which served as a basis for the entire discussion, 
and particularly Mr. J. R. Vernon from whose 
paper several long extracts on detailed methods 
of procedure have been taken. 

H. D. B. 





Wisconsin Highway Commission 


The purpose of this handbook is to provide an out- 
line to be followed by engineers of the Wisconsin 
Highway Commission in the field in securing the 
information necessary in the preparation of plans and 
estimates for the construction work of the depart- 
ment. Most of the trouble and delay in work pre- 
liminary to construction has been caused by indefinite 
information in regard to the conditions surrounding 
the projects in question. It is hoped to standardize, 
to some extent at least, the field methods, to coordi- 
nate the work of the different departments, and to 
furnish the engineer in the field an outline of the 
best methods that have been developed by other men 
in the organization. Surveyors should profit by the 
experience of others and change their methods to 
comply with the requirements as outlined. 


It will be the policy of the department to have a 
division engineer of surveys or assistant engineer who 
will be responsible for all the engineering work 
necessary in connection with the execution of the 
surveys and the preparation of plans. Elach division 
should acquire or develop a capable engineer who will 
be directly responsible to the division engineer for 
the conduct and efficiency of the surveyors and sur- 
veyors' helpers, and for the execution, accuracy, com- 
pleteness, and economy of all field and office work per- 
taining to surveys and plans. He should have a gen- 
eral knowledge and considerable experience in mak- 
ing and supervising survey work and know how to 
handle men to obtain maximum . efficiency and secure 
the best results. 


General Supervision Al 

The division engineer of surveys will give the field 
work close supervision, making" all necessary arrange- 
ments in advance. The actual execution of each sur- 
vey must be closely watched and every effort made 
to see that the requirements of the department are 
observed, that the methods employed by the surveyors 
are adapted to conditions at hand and that the max- 
imum efficiency is secured in the organization of the 
party and in the method of procedure. 

Supervision of Motor Equipment A2 

He should watch carefully the condition of the 
motor equipment used on survey work and by close 
supervision endeavor to reduce the time lost due to 
necessary repairs to a minimum. The responsibility 
for each automobile should be delegated to one man 
in each party, and he should be given every oppor- 
tunity to keep it in running order. If this cannot be 
done, different equipment or different drivers will be 
provided. The practice of allowing anyone in the 
party to operate the cars cannot be too severely con- 
demned, and reckless or careless drivers will not be 
allowed to operate machines even though they are 
themselves convinced that the fault is with the car. 

Responsibility for Preliminary Investigations A3 

The division engineer of surveys should devote 
practically all of his time to this work, especially 
during the early summer months before the surveying 
parties go into the field. His preliminary investiga- 
tion ought to be made well in advance of the time of 
beginning the survey, and when the actual execution 
of the work begins he should have a well defined 
location in mind and be able to say what grades and 
alignment are to be secured. He must be thoroughly 
familiar with all the roads in his division, not only 
the state trunk highway system but the prospective 
system as well. When driving through his division 
at any time, he ought to study the conditions sur- 
rounding each route, making notes where necessary 
upon the necessity and possibility of changes and 
should then be in a position to offer advice and sug- 
gestions to the division engineer when planning and 
locating construction projects. 

Administrative Duties A4 

He must be a close student of conditions in each 
county and have a well balanced idea as to the ad- 

1 2 


visability of the procedure contemplated from year 
to year. He should not hesitate to recommend the 
postponement of construction work which would tend 
to compromise the department later should larger 
projects include the work in question. The state aid 
work on the state trunk system must be watched 
closely and any permanent construction, such as con- 
crete bridges, culverts or gang- maintenance projects, 
should not be authorized unless it is first made to 
conform to the requirements of future construction 

Most of the difficulties encountered in the prepa- 
ration of plans have been due to either incompetent 
surveyors, incomplete field notes, or both. This may 
be simply the result of inadequate training by the 
department, but is generally due to the lack of gen- 
eral experience or unwillingness to conform to the 
requirements of the work. Thoroughness is by far 
the most important requirement of men employed by 
the department, and this faculty must be developed. 
It is hoped in the future that it may be possible to 
employ more experienced surveyors, and that the men 
engaged in this work will be trained systematically 
along the required lines, especially during the "break- 
ing in" period. 

Standard Railway Practice B2 

It will be the policy of the department to follow 
standard railway engineering practice wherever pos- 
sible. Perhaps the point has not yet been reached 
where all the engineering methods worked out by 
the railways can be adopted, but each year their 
practice will be followed more and more closelv. Such 
methods will, of course, require more time and entail 
additional cost, but if the necessary information can 
be secured, it is well worth while. More complete and 
accurate information must be available before draw- 
ing plans. 

Standardization B3 

This handbook will give the engineers in the field 
an opportunity to become familiar with the best 
methods as developed and perfected by the older and 
more experienced men in the organization, and at 
the same time direct their thinking and studying 



General Requirements 



1 3 

along- lines which will place them in a position to be 
promoted to administrative positions. 

It is expected that the methods outlined in this 
publication will be followed. If there are special 
conditions where it might be necessary to depart 
from standard procedure, this, of course, should be 
done, with the advice and counsel of some one in 
authority if possible. It is not expected that the 
policy of standardization will be carried to the point 
where it will destroy individual initiative entirely, 
and each surveyor should use good judgment in all 

It is well to remember that one of the important 
duties of the division engineer is to select proper 
routes or locations and to decide on the advisability 
of constructing certain projects. This ability can 
only be acquired by thorough training in the funda- 
mentals of highway engineering. 

Conduct of Employees B4 

Engineers of the department must remember that 
they are employees of the State of Wisconsin. While 
they may hold subordinate positions they are never 
the less representatives of the State Highway Com- 
mission and are under direct observation while in any 
community. Both when at work and off duty their 
personal conduct should be such as to cause no criti- 
cism, for they are regarded as holding positions of 
considerable importance. A conscientious effort must 
be made to cooperate with all the local officials with 
whom they come in contact, and even though the ideas 
and suggestions offered do not agree with those of 
the engineer, there must be no unnecessary discus- 
sions. A man's ability to leave a favorable impres- 
sion with the people with whom he comes in contact 
is probably of as much importance as his technical 

Additional Instructions B5 

Additions to these instructions will be made in the 
form of numbered bulletins from the main office and 
will refer to paragraph numbers. These should be 
issued by the division office in the form of type- 
written Lefax sheets which can be inserted in the 
proper place or pasted in the back of the pamphlet. 

The system of classification used is the standard 
method of numbering accounts in large accounting 
systems. A little study will show that the number 
itself is an index of the location of the subject. For 
instance, any paragraph beginning with tho numeral 


"1" is on the subject of location, and beginning with 
"2" on surveys. The next number indicates the sub- 
division under that subject. For instance, paragraph 
212 is the second subdivision under 21, or old road 
surveys, which is, of course, a subdivision of surveys, 
or 2. Subdivisions under this again are indicated by 
additional numerals. 

The advantage of this method is that additional 
paragraphs in the form of supplementary bulletins 
can be inserted in the proper place and numbered 
consecutively without resorting to the "A B C" method 
which in itself indicates that the paragraph is sub- 
ordinate to something else and not a new subject 
parallel to and of equal value with the one preceding. 
This arrangement also makes the index unnecessary. 







A comprehensive course in railroad engineering - is 
an integral part of most engineering courses while 
highway work, if offered at all, is generally in the 
nature of an elective. As a result of this general 
policy of the technical schools, a large percentage of 
the graduates learn the engineering methods em- 
ployed by the railroads from actual field experience. 
They come to have a very definite idea of the details 
of railroad engineering, but fail to correlate this 
knowledge with their highway work. It has been 
customary to group the railroad construction of the 
70's and 80's with the Panama Canal and other 
monumental engineering achievements without real- 
izing that the sums annually spent on highway work 
are already far in excess of the greatest annual ex- 
penditure for railroads. The romantic features of 
the work of the early railroad men have been played 
up in literature and the average engineer has a very 
well defined idea of the place and importance of the 
railroad location man. 

On the other hand, highway work has been a 
gradual evolution from almost nothing at all, and 
the general tendency among new employees, as 
well as among some of the older men in the depart- 
ment, is to consider the highway project on which 
they are engaged as an isolated survey of more or 
less importance from the standpoint of the amount of 
money to be spent; but having no definite relation 
to any general state-wide plan. 

To bring out the fact that exactly the same prin- 
ciples govern highway as railway location; that the 
problems are state-wide or at least confined only by 
limits that are generally beyond the bounds of any 
one survey; that the same general principles govern 
the detail work of location and construction; the fol- 
lowing comparison of railroad and highway engineer- 
ing is made. The surveyor should capitalize his 
knowledge of railroad engineering and construction, 
modifying it where necessary to suit the conditions 
at hand. 

Reason for Comparison 



Development of Highways 1 1 2 

It is, perhaps, difficult to think of the location of 
the highways of the state as having any relation 
to the Railroad Transportation System. A little study 
of the map, however, and of the history of railroad 
development will show that the original railway lines 
were built to a great extent to follow the old Gov- 
ernment roads as they existed in the early days. A 
further analysis of the State Trunk Highway System 
as it stands today will show that this again has been 
laid out to follow the main railway lines of traffic, 
and that the importance of these highways is meas- 
ured very closely by the importance of the railway 
lines which they parallel. 

Highway System As a Transportation Unit 113 

It is interesting to think of the State Trunk High- 
way System as a transportation unit composed of 
seventy-five hundred miles of single and double track 
lines and to consider it as owned by a corporation 
In which the stockholders are the Wisconsin tax- 
payers and the directors the Wisconsin Highway 
Commission. There are departments of engineering 
and operation, the engineering department being di- 
vided as in the railway system into Maintenance and 
Construction; the operating department functioning 
with the State Highway Engineer as General Man- 
ager and with Division Engineers acting as Division 
Superintendents. The business of this organization 
is to furnish transportation service by paving and 
grading and maintaining the existing highways, 
shortening distances, reducing curvature, and in- 
creasing the speed, ease and safety of travel. 

Business Administration 114 

When compared with the railroads from the stand- 
point of business administration, the same analogy 
may be made. It is the aim of those in authority to 
develop the highway department along the same gen- 
eral lines as other large business corporations en- 
gaged primarily in the expenditure of large sums of 
money. The profits may be said to depend upon the 
efficiency of the expenditure and to be measured in 
terms of favorable public sentiment for good roads. 
Efficient and economical work will be recognized and 
an effort made to give credit where it is due. 

Traffic 115 

The question of the probable traffic requirements 
underlies all railroad and highway engineering prob- 



lems. The character and direction of traffic are what 
influence the location, design, and construction of the 
highway itself. Employees of the Commission should 
study traffic as it exists in their locality and keep 
in mind the probable future requirements when lay- 
ing grades and designing the projects which have 
been surveyed. 

Principles of Locution 116 

The fundamental principles of railroad and high- 
way location are essentially the same. In each case 
the engineer endeavors to determine which route will 
be most advantageous from the standpoint of align- 
ment, grade, and distance. While the probable cost 
per ton mile can be estimated a little more closely 
in the case of the railroad as its units are well de- 
fined and supported by years of experience neverthe- 
less the cost per car mile or ton mile in the case of 
the highway is just as real and just as important. 

Each year more and more money is being spent on 
the highways in an effort to reduce the cost of opera- 
tion and to increase the speed and safety of travel, 
and the problems of the highway engineer in relo- 
cation and reconstruction to eliminate curvature, re- 
duce distance and gradients are virtually the same 
as those of the railroad man. New highways are 
being built from year to year to meet the require- 
ments of developing territory and increasing traffic, 
and in such cases the problems are identical except 
in the maximum grades and curvature allowed. 


General Preparation 121 

As the result of this condition it is obvious that 
the student of highway engineering should familiarize 
himself with all that he can learn of railway work. 
While the literature on railroad location is not ex- 
tensive, on highway location there is even less. Lo- 
cation in the field is not a thing that can be learned 
from books but to a large degree the economic prin- 
ciples underlying it may be. Earlier field experience 
in railroad location and construction will be found 
very valuable and should be supplemented by a study 
of the literature of railroad and highway engineering. 

Training in Observation 122 

Those employees of (the highway department 
charged with the responsibility for location will find 
that the most important requirement of their work 


is to train the faculty of observation. They must 
become thoroughly familiar with the territory in 
which they Work. A good map should be carried and 
used constantly and an effort made to visualize a 
proposition as a whole whenever it is considered. 
A surveying- job, no matter how small or seemingly 
unimportant, is nevertheless an integral part of some 
through route and should be considered as such. The 
general layout of routes as a whole; their relation 
to a straight line between terminii; the location of 
railroads and their influences on possible lines; the 
grade crossings on a route and the possibility of 
collective elimination; the location and relation of 
cities and ruling points of topography should be 
carefully studied and gradually the whole situation 
will become a constantly changing problem, the 
largest part of which is always in the future. 

Physical Geography 123 

Every highway engineer should be a thorough stu- 
dent of geology and physical geography. The more 
clearly he is able to visualize the topography of a 
given area and see the various features in their cor- 
rect relation to each other, the more quickly will he 
be able to eliminate certain possible routes as un- 
desirable. He ought to learn the drainage systems, 
the direction of streams and their relation to each 
other, the location and extent of marshes, the general 
trend of ridges and divides, and the best stream and 
ridge crossings all of which have an important bear- 
ing on the selection of the ultimate route for a high- 

Too frequently the highway engineer in the field 
is willing to assume that the existing location is 
good enough and that no better route is possible, 
while if he had a little knowledge of the terraine, 
he would be able to see other possibilities and to 
know where to expect certain conditions. 

For instance, ?t may be said that where two 
streams or valleys head on opposite sides of a ridge 
and near each other, it is reasonable to expect that 
there will be a low place in the ridge with a possi- 
bility of a crossing at that point. On the other hand, 
if two lateral ridges join a main divide, one on either 
side, it is probable that there will be a high place 
in the main ridge and that in order to cross at this 
point, using the laterals for development, it will be 
necessary to ascend to a much higher elevation than 
if a crossing could be secured where the heads of 
two valleys were adjacent. This discussion may seem 



superficial but it is inserted merely to show that a 
knowledge of the simple principles of physical geog- 
raphy is essential to the highway location engineer. 

Geology 124 

Geology in itself plays a very important part in* 
this subject and anyone engaged in highway loca- 
tion should understand the principles of the geology 
of his district. A little study of the stratiography 
will explain and simplify a great many problems 
with which he comes in contact. The relation of the 
limestone to the sandstone for instance, and espe- 
cially their relative resistance to erosion, will quite 
frequently explain the difficulty encountered in getting 
over ridges and in securing good grades in bad coun- 

Every employee of the department ought to read 
carefully "The Physical Geography of Wisconsin" by 
Prof. Lawrence Martin. This is Bulletin No. 36 of the 
Wisconsin Geological Survey, and white out of print 
at the present time will be found in the division 
offices of the Commission. 

Limitations 125 

In many respects the requirements as outlined 
above are much the same in both railroad and high- 
way location. While the results to be obtained are 
similar, the methods of securing them are somewhat 
different in each case. The highway engineer can 
use heavier grades and sharper curves and as a re- 
sult can go over the tops of ridges that the railroad 
man must tunnel. 

On the other hand, highway construction is limited 
in many ways that the other is not. The cost of right 
of way and the difficulty in securing it; the align- 
ment of the remainder of the State Trunk System and 
its effect upon the project in question; junctions with 
important subsidiary roads; inability to pass by cities 
or villages of any importance, except in very special 
cases; all must be considered and have an important 
bearing on the methods to be followed in any in- 
dividual case. The highway engineer in the field must 
take into consideration existing improvements both in 
the area surveyed and those adjacent to it. He must 
keep in mind the fact that any changes in completed 
work have an important relation to public sentiment 
and the attitude of the community toward the de- 
partment. Location of other highways adjacent to 
the proposed improvement and particularly those 
roads parallel to the road in question should be given 



careful consideration. The possibility of a large sav- 
ing- in distance, or material improvement in grades, 
by an extensive change must be considered and no 
project located which may compromise the depart- 
ment in the future when different conditions may 
•make the larger project possible. 

Summary 126 

The highway engineer is working in a constantly 
progressing field. Traffic requirements and public 
sentiment are changing rapidly and he must adapt 
himself not only to the present situation but he must 
be able to look into the future. While the attitude 
of the public has much more weight than in the case 
of the railroads, it must be remembered that if a 
Highway Department is not far enough in advance of 
the requirements of the present to arouse some criti- 
cism, it is probably standing still and not functioning 


Reasons for Possible Changes 131 

The Division Engineer is, of course, personally 
responsible for the preliminary investigations to be 
made before any improvement is considered. A large 
part of this work will fall upon the shoulders of 
the division engineer of surveys. The Trunk High- 
way System as it exists has been laid out very care- 
fully. Various routes were considered and it was the 
aim of the department to select roads which would 
satisfy all the conditions as nearly as possible. It 
was not always possible to select routes which would 
satisfy everybody and it was also necessary in some 
parts of the state to select roads which as they ex- 
isted at the time were not at all desirable as trunk 
lines. The location of the Trunk Highway System 
and the important secondary roads must be kept in 
mind by all the employees of the department and 
when they are driving in the course of their other 
duties, locations should be studied and an effort made 
to become familiar with the conditions as they exist 
in the entire division. 

It would seem, at first thought, to be unnecessary 
for subordinate engineers to concern themselves 
with problems of this magnitude but the fact must 
be remembered that changing conditions have very 
materially altered the situation in a great many 
places and that at times the division engineer of 



surveys may not have an opportunity to go over the 
situation in detail in which case the responsibility 
for the investigation will fall upon the chief of the 
party. The fact should also be kept in mind that it 
was necessary to select routes which could be traveled 
at the time the Trunk Highway System was laid out 
and that in many cases these routes were located with 
the idea of eventually making extensive changes in 
the alignment. The financial situation has changed 
from year to year and it is now possible to finance 
projects which would have been impossible a few 
years ago. The question of public sentiment has had 
a very important relation to the work of the highway 
engineer. As the Highway System developed the 
general public became accustomed to larger expendi- 
tures and better engineering, and it has now become 
possible to construct projects which might not have 
been advisable a few years back. The same reason- 
ing may be applied to the future and it is safe to say 
that more and more difficult engineering problems will 
be undertaken as time goes on. 

The increasing traffic has had a very important 
effect on the character of highway engineering work 
and the question of future traffic over a road should 
always be considered. As a general proposition, the 
standard of engineering work in the state highway 
department has been raised very materially in the 
last few years and it has always been the policy of 
the department to make improvements which would 
stand the test of time even though they might not 
be considered advisable from the local standpoint at 
the time. 

Maps 132 

Before starting any survey, a very thorough inves- 
tigation must be made of all the conditions surround- 
ing the particular locality. As a preliminary step 
the person responsible for the survey should make 
a study of all available maps. Those furnished by 
the Post Office Department are perhaps the best. 
These can be secured for all the counties in southern 
Wisconsin and are quite accurate. They show most 
of the roads, especially the post roads, and considera- 
ble additional information. The Hixon and Railroad 
Commission maps are available for the remainder of 
the state and for some areas there are drainage maps. 
The topographic sheets prepared by the United States 
Geological Survey are, of course, the most valuable 
and in those portions of the state where work has 
been done these should be in the possession of every 


surveyor. Other areas have been mapped by the 
State Geological Survey, and their blue print maps 
are available if desired. 

For the northern counties where there are large 
areas of undeveloped land, the ordinary maps are 
g-enerally very inadequate. Very little information is 
given and what is shown is often incorrect. In lo- 
cating new lines through this undeveloped country 
the maps made by the original land surveyors have 
been found of great assistance. They show the water 
courses and swamps, platted from information se- 
cured in chaining the section lines, and while incom- 
plete in many respects will save a great many miles 
of walking and make it possible to more quickly se- 
lect routes to be investigated. 

In fact, the engineer must study all the maps at 
his command and decide which would be the most 
advisable route if conditions were such that the road 
could be built there. There are generally several 
possible lines which may or may not be better than 
the present road and before starting any survey he 
should satisfy himself that the location selected is 
the most satisfactory. 

Earlier Conditions 133 

Quite frequently it is possible by questioning old 
residents or local officials to determine where the 
road was in the early days and very often this is 
the best location available. Early settlers in laying 
out the stage routes seemed to have had an uncanny 
faculty for selecting the best grades and the best 
routes and a large part of the relocation work of the 
department consists in putting roads back where they 
were originally laid. 

Preparations 134 

The engineer in charge of this work in a division 
should be thoroughly familiar with all important 
roads for their entire lengths. This does not neces- 
sarily mean that he must make his investigations at 
the time of a survey, but during the course of his 
other work he should become familiar with all of the 
possible relocations and changes in routing in his 
division and have these facts in mind when assigned 
to any specific improvement. He ought to study the 
territory on both sides of the existing road for sev- 
eral miles, particularly in rough country, and should 
go over two or three miles of the road at each end 
of the project in detail. This matter of preliminary 
study and investigation is of the utmost importance 



and every employee ought to make it a point to fa- 
miliarize himself with the conditions surrounding- all 
the highways in his division. 

Before starting any field investigations or any sur- 
vey, the engineers ought to have at hand all the avail- 
able information of the area to be considered. The 
Division Engineer of Surveys and 'the Chief of Party 
should discuss the matter thoroughly with the Divi- 
sion Engineer and learn what he thinks of the im- 
portance of the route In question. This will deter- 
mine to a large extent the maximum grade and curva- 
ture to be secured. Any possible locations or routes 
which have been thought of previously should be dis- 
cussed and the local conditions surrounding the proj- 
ect gone over. The presence or absence of limiting 
conditions ought especially to be noted. 

The attitude of the local authorities will be out- 
lined at that time and the field men instructed as to 
what men they are to get in touch with and as to 
what their personal attitude is to be. All available 
maps should be at hand and mounted in such a way 
that they can be carried conveniently. In fact, the 
field men must acquaint themselves with the complete 
history of the project from all angles. They should 
keep careful minutes of this conference in their field 
books and where possible the Chief of Party ought 
to accompany the Division Engineer of Surveys on 
the preliminary investigation. 

Procedure in the Field 135 

When instructed to Investigate a certain route, the 
field engineer should attempt to visualize it as a 
whole. If not familiar with the road beyond the lim- 
its of his division, he must determine the character 
of the country and other conditions by careful in- 
quiry or personal investigation. If there is a portion 
which it will not be possible for him to see, he should 
satisfy himself thoroughly that there are no condi- 
tions there which will affect his decisions. In this 
phase of the engineer's work a thorough knowledge 
of local conditions is indispensable. He must know 
what the requirements of the various communities 
are and where the development of traffic in the future 
will be. He should be able to see the various routes 
as integral parts of future highway systems and be 
able to judge of their relative value. He must be able 
to look ahead and not be influenced by the pressure of 
public opinion, reserving for the future the comple- 
tion of projects not possible at the present time. 
Breadth of vision is a prime requisite of any sue- 


cessful executive and in this capacity as in no othasr 
is the highway engineer given an opportunity to ex- 
ercise his imagination. 

After becoming familiar with the old road, the field 
Investigator will study the other possibilities. Every- 
thing else being equal, the most desirable route is a 
straight line. Generally the proposition resolves it- 
self into the investigation and study of a diamond- 
shaped area, the two points being the terminii of the 
road in question and the widest part being some point 
midway between. The width of this area is limited 
largely by topography and the question of lost dis- 
tance. In between the two sides of this diamond 
there are, as a rule, several different possibilities or 
combinations of possibilities. Up to this stage any 
route may be considered possible and the engineer 
should endeavor to be influenced by no other condi- 

The general plan of procedure for the Investigator 
in the field is to walk or drive entirely around the 
area in question working from the outside or pre- 
sumably least desirable route toward the middle, 
gradually eliminating certain lines. 

Investigations in Heavy Timber 136 

In the northern part of the state where there are 
large areas of undeveloped land covered with brush 
and heavy timber the work of the location man is 
almost identical with that of the railroad location 
engineer. As a rule the investigations of project 
layouts in this character of country resolve them- 
selves into studies of many prospective lines through 
the woods. The trunk highways as they exist gen- 
erally are of little importance and it was and is ex- 
pected that radical changes will be made. Much de- 
tail work must be done on these investigations and 
the operations are much the same as the reconnais- 
sance made when the surveying party goes into the 
field in other parts of the state. Quite frequently 
there are no limiting conditions at all except the 
towns which are the terminii of the road, and it is 
possible for the field man to locate a line consider- 
ing the location as a matter of pure engineering and 

Preliminaries 13 61 

The engineer should approach one of these situa- 
tions with the idea in mind that it is a real problem 
that will tax his ability to the utmost and he ought 
to lay out his plan of attack carefully. About the 
only maps of any value are those made by the original 
land surveyors. Quite frequently marsh areas are 


the most important consideration and the best routes 
may generally be selected at once from these maps. 
In rough and broken country the water courses are 
of most importance and the location of the streams 
should be studied in detail. Where the ground is 
level an effort is generally made to follow section 
lines and these may be carefully gone over on the 
map. Often the construction of the road is influenced 
by the possibility of the development of adjacent 
territory and it is rather difficult at times to justify 
the construction of expensive connecting links if 
they will not be of use to settlers because of poor 
soil or rugged topography. Here, as in every other 
phase of highway work, the engineer should have as 
a background a good knowledge of the economics of 
highway construction. 

Section Line Roads 1362 
If the proposed line is a connecting link in a lonr 
tangent, the field work is necessarily limited to that 
particular location or slight modifications of it. The 
problem frequently resolves itself into a compari- 
son of the proposed route with others parallel and at 
distances of one-quarter, one-half, or some other frac- 
tion of a mile. In such cases the cost of construc- 
tion must be balanced against the lost distance, keep- 
ing in mind the probable development of the adjacent 
territory and the possibilities for the construction of 
the more desirable and expensive route at a later date. 

Connty Surveyors 1363 

Where possible, the proposed line ought to be run 
by the County Surveyor and the section corners* plain- 
ly marked. When this is done he should be instructed 
to clear a good wide line as this will make the work 
of the later survey much easier at all stages and re- 
duce the cost materially. 

Field Investigation 1364 

Equipped with a good map and pocket compass the 
engineer should walk over the proposed line keeping 
detailed notes of conditions as he finds them. His re- 
port must show the character of the country by miles, 
the nature of the soil, the amount and character of 
the clearing and grubbing, the number and type of 
the drainage structures required, the amount of 
marsh, and the character of the material available 
for fill. He should remember that the amount of 
earthwork is very largely determined by the fill 


quantities and estimate roughly the length and height 
of fills and the amount of ditching necessary. 

In his consideration of marshes he must remember 
that it will probably be necessary to cross some 
marsh on any route and that even comparatively long 
stretches of low ground do not constitute an impos- 
sible condition. Frequently ground covered with 
heavy timber and having all the appearance of a 
poor location for a road will dry out when exposed 
to the sunlight when drained by suitable side ditches. 
The fact that ground is marshy need not be taken too 
seriously. A comparison should be made with the 
existing roads on either side or in similar locations 
to determine what results follow the clearing and 

Diagonal Routes 1365 

When it is not necessary or desirable to follow a 
section line closely, conditions are modified consid- 
erably. It is then possible to avoid the marsh and 
heavy construction work in level country, to some 
extent at least. In rough country, badly cut up by 
streams or covered by heavy deposits of glacial drift, 
it is necessary to work out a line in considerable de- 
tail and after several days of difficult cruising, it 
will often be found that some impossible situation will 
necessitate the abandonment of the entire line. 

The general plan to be followed has been outlined 
previously. The area under consideration should be 
carefully gone over and worked from the extreme lim- 
its inward, the only difference being that it is gener- 
ally necessary to do all of the investigating on foot 
and to spend a large amount of time in investigating 
situations that could be seen from a distance in open 
country. The engineer must be able to use a pocket 
compass and locate himself accurately at all times. 
He should be able to follow a section line and locate 
the corners approximately by pacing. To be a "good 
man in the woods" is no mean accomplishment and 
each employee of the department must realize that 
this is a real necessity in the northern part of Wis- 
consin, no matter what his present position. 

If the route is to follow the general direction of the 
drainage the problem is very much simplified as it is 
then only necessary to analyze the two sides of one 
or more streams or marshes; but if at right angles to 
the water courses, the situation is different. It is 
then necessary to select the various stream crossings 
and to work out approaches from both directions. It 
is here that the difficulties lie. It will generally be 



found advisable to investigate the various transverse 
streams by walking- up the valleys making observa- 
tions and notes as to possible stream crossings. All 
the various possibilities should be analyzed and it 
frequently will be found that certain combinations 
can be made by connecting the stream crossings with 
diagonal roads on the high land between. It should 
be possible to continue the road in the right general 
direction in this manner and still take advantage of 
the best locations in the valleys that are crossed. 

The location engineer must realize that he is ex- 
pected to bring in a definite recommendation, to be 
in a position to tell the surveyors where to work, and 
to stay by the job until he can do this. On extensive 
surveys this is often discouraging, but the satisfac- 
tion that follows the construction of a route which 
will stand the test of time and adverse criticism 
makes the effort worth while. 

Elimination of Routes 137 

A great many possible locations are found to have 
some limiting features which throw them out for all 
time and it is generally possible by a superficial ex- 
amination to eliminate all but one or two possibilities. 
These must be checked up in detail, and the engineer 
is then confronted with the problem of relative values. 


In considering the relative values of optional routes, 
it is often desirable to study them from the engineer- 
ing standpoint alone, for the time being. The con- 
clusions arrived at can later be modified to conform 
to the requirements of public opinion and to meet the 
cost limitations. 

Old Road vs. New Location 138.01 

The first general comparison is to determine the 
amount of existing highway that may be utilized 
on the various lines. The cost of improving the old 
road is not difficult to determine as the grading and 
culvert work may be estimated on a mileage basis. 
Quite frequently there are difficult or unusual situa- 
tions that can be avoided by new locations of greater 
or less extent, and in deciding upon the desirability 
of these changes the highway engineer has an oppor- 
tunity to use an unlimited amount of common sense 
and good judgment. 

All roads should T>e considered as possible of relo- 
cation and the fact that the existing highway has 


been traveled for years and accepted by the local 
community need not be considered as indicating that 
the situation must continue indefinitely, if it is funda- 
mentally wrong-. A large part of the high surveying 
cost on certain projects in the past has been caused 
by ignoring- or passing up relocations which were 
obvious. If certain changes seem possible, but per- 
haps not desirable, this fact should be brought to 
the attention of someone in authority before the sur- 
vey is completed. On the other hand a road cannot 
be relocated on theoretical considerations alone. The 
change must stand the test of public opinion in the 
end and if no real g-ood to the traveling- public is 
accomplished the new location is probably not justi- 
fied. A little .thought and investigation will quite 
frequently show that the same grade and alignment 
may be secured on the old road at a slight increase 
in cost, some times not more than the cost of the 
right of way on the new line and before deciding 
on any change, the situation in the old road should 
be analyzed carefully. In fact, there is a general 
tendency for engineers to jump at conclusions in this 
matter and to rush into new locations that cannot 
possibly be justified when the test of public opinion 
is applied. 

These relocations or proposed changes in the layout 
of the system often attain the magnitude of complete 
new locations for the road and the considerations cov- 
ering highway locations and relocations will be dis- 
cussed somewhat in detail. 

Method of Approach 138.02 

The general subject of highway location may be 
approached from two angles. First, from the stand- 
point of the local conditions alone, and second, from 
the standpoint of the trunk highway as a whole. Lo- 
cal conditions that most frequently affect the proper 
location of a highway are alignment, lost distance, 
drainage conditions, bridges, earthwork quantities, 
and difficult maintenance problems. The one feature 
that is of most importance, when the trunk highway 
as a whole is considered, is the question of minimum 
distance with minimum grade, although alignment, 
and drainage conditions also materially affect the 

Alignment 138.03 

The question of alignment is receiving more and 
more attention with the increase in the automobile 
traffic. It is probably true that all highways cannot 



be made foolproof, but every effort should be made 
to secure the best alignment possible under the cir- 
cumstances. No one will argue for a minute that the 
roads located ten years ago -are entirely satisfactory 
•under the present traffic conditions, but in considering 
any new locations, it must be remembered that theo- 
retical considerations cannot always come first. As a 
general proposition, curves under 200 feet radius 
should be eliminated, even at considerable expense. 
This is especially true on steep grades. The direction 
of the curve itself, whether toward the hill or con- 
cave toward the valley, is of importance, for an open 
curve of a sharp radius may be perfectly safe while 
a similar curve around a high hill would preclude 
consideration of the line at all. In open country, 
especially at the end of the long straight tangents 
where the traffic will be moving at high velocity, It 
is advisable to secure wide, open curves, preferably 
of 400 feet radius or more. This is somewhat of a 
departure from precedent, but the radius of curves on 
the state trunk highway system will be gradually in- 
creased from year to year. Bridges should not be 
located on curves if any other arrangement is pos- 

Lost Distance 138.04 

A careful study of the map in a great many cases 
will show that a saving of distance may be made by 
relocation. This fact should be considered in con- 
nection with the importance of the trunk highway 
and the amount of traffic over it, for the extra mileage 
necessitated by the existing detour, when capitalized 
on a basis of ten cents a mile for each automobile, 
sometimes produces startling results. At the same 
time the fact should be kept in mind that sometimes 
a possible relocation which would mean a decided re- 
duction in mileage cannot possibly be justified because 
of the cost of construction and the minor importance 
of the trunk highway. 

Marshes and Sink Holes 138.05 

Marshes are not necessarily an excuse for reloca- 
tion. Under present methods a marsh need not be 
avoided if there is anything to fill it with. If drain- 
age can be secured or if the marsh is not too wet, the 
use of the standard wide ditch section quite frequently 
simplifies the difficulties. On the other hand, sink 
holes, which are quite common in northern Wisconsin, 
should be avoided at almost any cost. One experience 
in trying to fill a sink hole is generally enough. Sound- 


ings will demonstrate the advisability of crossing 
low land and it has been found that the depth of 
marshes and sink holes usually bears a very close re- 
lation to the slope of the adjoining- ground. If the 
slopes are steep, it is generally safe to assume that* 
the sink hole is deep, whereas with gently sloping 
banks, it is often found that a marsh can be filled 
to advantage. 

Elimination of Bridges 138.06 

In making- relocations to eliminate bridges, a pro- 
posed channel change may have an important bearing 
on the situation. The general action of the stream 
should be studied, particularly during floods and no 
channel change recommended which does not lie in 
the axis of the stream at high water stage. Some of 
these changes have been made in the past with dis- 
astrous results to the new fill or at a heavy expense 
for rip rap. 

Railroad Crossings 138.07 

The question of railroad grade crossings elimina- 
tion is assuming larger proportions every year. This 
question should always be studied if the road under 
consideration crosses a railroad at any point, and it 
will be found that a great many of the ultimate 
locations are dependent upon the elimination of the 
maximum number of grade crossings. No effort will 
be made to analyze the question here in detail, but 
every employee of the department engaged on location 
work should know what the possibilities are for 
every crossing in his division and for every highway. 
He must study the various locations for grade separa- 
tion structures and have in mind the combinations of 
relocations and structures that will keep the number 
of grade crossings at a minimum. When riding- on 
the train, the location engineer ought to make fre- 
quent inspections from the back platform on each 
line in his division and try to add to his general store 
of knowledge the facts that have an influence on 
the grade crossing situation. These problems fre- 
quently extend along a railroad for considerable dis- 
tances, and no surveys will be made that are not first 
considered in their relation to the collective elimina- 
tion of crossings on that particular line. 

Earthwork 138.08 

Quite frequently, relocation can be justified and 
the right of way paid for many times over by mate- 



rial savings in earth and rock excavation quantities. 
The conditions must be carefully investigated and the 
costs compared on the two lines. 

Future Maintenance * 138.09 

The question of maintenance is a matter quite fre- 
quently overlooked, for in sandy country it is often 
desirable to relocate the highway in such a manner 
as to eliminate the wash in the ditches. A great 
many of the older roads have been built along the 
axis of a water course and such a road, especially in 
light soil, is almost impossible to maintain. If it is 
not possible for the engineer to design his project in 
such a way as to get the water away from the road 
by the use of culverts, the question of relocating 
the entire project should be given consideration. This 
applies equally well on preliminary investigations, 
and no route can be given serious consideration in 
which it will be necessary to put the center line in 
the bottom of the valley. In fact, it is one of the 
fundamental principles of all highway location that 
the water should be gotten away from the road as 
promptly as possible, and any physical condition 
which defeats this object is worthy of attention. 

Maximum Grades 138.10 

When considering a highway as a whole, the ques- 
tion of maximum grade between certain terminii is 
probably the most important limiting feature. It 
seems quite obvious that if there are existing heavy 
grades between certain points which cannot be im- 
proved that it is hardly advisable to spend large sums 
of money in securing lighter grades at intermediate 

Locations for Grade Reductions 138.11 

The selection of the maximum grade for the project 
is a question of first importance. In deciding on this 
feature the conditions on the remainder of the road 
should be kept in mind. The requirements of the 
federal department are of much importance and all 
the possibilities of the locality must be considered. 
There is no maximum grade for any road in the state 
of Wisconsin. It is the general policy of the depart- 
ment to secure six per cent grades on the main routes, 
but even this is not possible at times. It should be 
remembered that while any high-powered car can 
go over a very steep hill without shifting, we must 
build for the truck traffic to some extent. It is here, 


and will increase in volume, and there are places 
where direct alignment must be sacrified somewhat 
to secure lighter grades. As a general proposition, 
it might be said that seven per cent grades up to 
five or six hundred feet in length may be accepted on 
some of the principal trunk highways with a medium 
amount of traffic, and that beyond this, relocation at 
the expense of straight alignment will probably be 
justified. The fact that a road was placed on a sec- 
tion line for ten or twelve miles when originally 
laid out does not necessarily mean that we must go 
over all of the hills when it is rebuilt. 

In considering, a possible relocation that will im- 
prove the grade, the other conditions must be con- 
sidered at the same time. Sharp radius curves, either 
blind or open, will be avoided on steep grades and 
especially at the foot of long hills and at the end of 
long tangents. The safety of the traveling public is 
first, and the grade second. While distance is of im- 
portance on any location, it should be remembered 
that any material decrease in grade means an in- 
crease in distance on the hill. If the grade can be 
reduced and a line secured which is more direct it 
is sometimes possible to decrease both grade and dis- 
tance on the route, but quite frequently it is neces- 
sary to put in additional distance in order to get a 
lighter grade. The engineer must use good judgment 
in deciding where this increase can be justified and 
make his recommendations accordingly. 

A decrease in grade as a rule means an increase in 
'the amount of excavation, unless the change involves 
the elimination of a heavy cut. In lengthening the 
distance necessary to descend the hill on the lighter 
grade, it becomes necessary to do a greater amount 
of side hill work. At the same time it may be kept 
in mind that on most side hills the earth covering 
the rock is of about the same thickness at all points 
of the same elevation and that, in all probability, it 
will be necessary to do about the same amount of 
rock excavation no matter where the line is located. 
The engineer in locating his line should make an ef- 
fort to select a hillside which has a gradual slope, for 
a steeply sloping bank invariably means rock or loose 
rock excavation. It is quite often possible, by making 
a break in the grade line, to take advantage of the 
ground and avoid some rock work. 

Limiting Features 138.12 

On most relocations the limiting features are the 
height of the ridge and the distance that can be se- 


cured to develop it. Quite frequently the two ends 
of the line are determined by a gap in the summit and 
a desirable stream crossing at the lower end. There 
may be points on the hillside that must be avoided, 
and at times there are benches which can be taken 
advantage of to eliminate rock excavation. All these 
features limit the distance which can be used and, 
of course, effect the percent of grade. The location 
of buildings, orchards, cemeteries, churches, school- 
houses, and connections with the old road and other 
roads are often limiting features. The element of 
right of way as a rule is not of as much importance 
on side hill locations as on those made in shortening 
distance in level country, but when this right of way 
can only be secured by paying excessive damages, 
it may be advisable to modify the grade to suit the 
conditions. It may be said that cemeteries, churches, 
and schoolhouses should not be interfered with as it 
is almost impossible to secure right of way across 
this class of property. 

A few of the general considerations which limit the 
location of a new line have been discussed above. 
While most of these features would be worked out in 
detail if the survey were made over the proposed 
route, they must be considered at the time of the pre- 
liminary investigation as well. Grade lines may be 
run out in the field by one man using* a gradiometer, 
and when the elimination process has brought the 
matter down to a few lines of apparently equal value, 
they should be worked out more in detail. 

In the last analysis the various possibilities must 
be studied, and an effort made to determine what" the 
general effect upon the community is going to be, and 
to balance this against the advantages which will be 
gained by the change. The location of the side roads, 
the changes that can be made in them to make them 
serve the tributary territory, the character of the 
traffic, the number of farmers served and inconveni- 
enced by the various lines, the effect of the new lines 
upon the farms themselves and the probable cost of 
the right of way, the cost of drainage structures and 
the nature of the material to be moved, all should be 
considered. This final analysis will bring out the 
limiting features of the various lines clearly, such 
as maximum grades, curvature, railroad crossing sit- 
uations, drainage conditions, comparative lengths, and 
summarize the situation as it would exist if the road 
were constructed. 


Comparison of Routes 138.13 

When the situation has been thoroughly gone over 
by the field investigator a preliminary sketch will be 
drawn up and a comparison made of the various 
routes. It is often advisable to tabulate the advan- 
tages and disadvantages of each line and to make a 
preliminary estimate. It is true that there are often 
conditions of public policy with which the field men 
are not familiar, which may modify the decision in 
the matter, but under no circumstances is there any 
excuse for a survey being made without careful con- 
sideration of all the possible lines in that vicinity. The 
engineer in the field should feel that he is personally 
responsible for the location and the design of the 
project to which he is assigned and should take per- 
sonal pride in having it executed in such a manner 
that it will not be necessary to resurvey any con- 
siderable part of it. 

Preliminary Estimates 138.14 

The question of preliminary estimates is not given 
enough consideration. For this work it is not neces- 
sary to make any sort of a detailed summary of costs. 
In any division, the assistant engineer should have 
a general knowledge of the cost of that character 
of work and the grading can be estimated by the mile. 
Culverts may be estimated in this same manner, and 
the right of way and bridges can be approximated 
close enough for the purpose. In fact, it is desirable 
that each division engineer require a preliminary es- 
timate from his assistant engineer or Chief of Party 
engaged on this work, as this will tend to familiarize 
them with construction costs. 

Reports 139 

A carefully prepared report, either oral or written, 
is the final test of the location engineer's grasp of the 
situation. The report may be made in an informal 
conversation with the division engineer, but it will be 
found more advisable to reduce the results of these 
field investigations to writing, as quite frequently a 
project long considered dead comes into the limelight 
again very unexpectedly. 

In preparing any report, it must be remembered that 
the result of the investigation should be a definite 
recommendation. Before starting to write, the engi- 
neer must have a clear idea of what he himself thinks 
of the proposition. Some basis of comparison can be 
selected, either the old road or the line considered 
most desirable, where several relocations are under 


3 r> 

consideration, and the distances and other limiting 
features shown in relation to this. 

A good sketch is a very essential part of a report 
and ought to show in detail the various lines in- 
vestigated, the limiting features of each, and espe- 
cially should indicate if any possibilities were not in- 
vestigated and the reasons why. All of the features 
outlined above as affecting a highway location, must 
be discussed in their relation to this particular project, 
and any special features such as limiting topography, 
or local conditions that must be considered, should be 
included. The reports will include the various es- 
timates and show clearly the unit prices used. 

The limiting features of each line ought to be 
emphasized, rather than the good points, and it must 
be kept in mind that the reader will not have the 
time or inclination to analyze in detail, but will be 
looking for definite outstanding facts upon which to 
base his decision. Some definite, clear-cut recom- 
mendation should be made and the other possibilities 
discussed from the same standpoint, showing why 
the one particular line was selected. 

The final recommendation should limit the field 
work to one line where possible. It is seldom neces- 
sary to make elaborate surveys to determine the con- 
struction cost of the various possibilities, as this can 
be done roughly at the time of the investigation and 
usually accurate enough for the purpose. At times 
it may be advisable to run several different lines as 
the basis for an estimate of right of way cost, for 
it is usually difficult to get a price from a property 
owner unless he can see the stakes. This can be in 
the nature of a traverse only and the field and office 
work should be kept at an absolute minimum. 



Part II 







Schedule for Surveys 


The proper organization of the field party is the 
most important element of the survey. This matter 
must be given careful thought by the division engi- 
neer or assistant in charge of the work. The prac- 
tice of sending men hurriedly into the field with a 
party selected at random from the available men in 
the office is to be discouraged. The larger surveys 
should be handled by schedule and a party have its 
work arranged for several months in advance. In the 
case of the shorter ones and the so-called "rush jobs", 
this is not always possible. In any event, the surveys 
ought to be listed and cleaned up systematically. The 
more carefully this is done, the fewer "rush jobs" 
there will be. 

Personnel 2112 

The character and length of the survey determines 
very largely the organization of the party. In most 
cases the four man organization consisting of a Chief 
of Party, an instrument man and two helpers, has 
been found the most advisable. At times where there 
are difficult conditions such as heavy timber or thick 
brush, additional axe men will be required, but it 
should be understood that none of the assistants in 
the party are exempt from the use of the axe when 
it is necessary. 

On federal surveys it has been found advisable in 
most cases to take an instrument man in addition 
to the Chief from the office. As to whether additional 
men should be taken also is open to argument, with 
the odds in favor of local help. As a rule, especially 
at the present time, it is possible to pick up a couple 
of men locally, who are alert and have enough edu- 
cation to read the tape and to learn the duties of 
rod man in a short time. These men can live at home 
and the saving in the long run by such procedure will 
be found to be considerable. It is true that some 


a 7 

advantage will accrue from having- one rod man from 
the office, but it is believed that this advantage will 
be overcome by a few days of training and in_ long 
jobs the saving in expense money will much more 
than balance the additional time needed for break- 
ing in. 

Uniform Personnel 21121 

Every effort will be made to use the same men on 
the same surveys at all stages including extensions 
and resurveys. The staking out and re-cross sec- 
tioning, however, should be done by a party employed 
on that work alone. The surveying during construc- 
tion cannot be done by the same party that made the 
original survey, but it must be remembered that such 
experience affords an excellent means of educating 
men in construction work. In all cases where errors 
are found in the preliminary survey, the man who 
made the mistakes should be sent out to correct them. 

The condition where several different parties have 
been on the same job offers a wonderful opportunity 
for "passing the buck", and a great many cases have 
been found where each party passed the responsibility 
for securing certain necessary information to the 
other, and the result was that none of them se- 
cured it. 

The practice of using men who have worked part 
of the summer as inspectors on construction for in- 
strument men or Chiefs of Party in the fall should be 
encouraged, as such a plan, if carefully worked out, 
would give a complete cycle of men employed on their 
own work, first as surveyors, then as draftsmen and 
computers, and finally as inspectors on construction 
repeating the cycle the next fall. 

Experienced Men 21122 

No one but an experienced man ought to be placed 
in charge of a surveying party in the field. Whether 
he has the rating of instrument man or Chief of Party, 
the man in charge should feel that he is responsible 
for the work of the men under him, for their disci- 
pline, for the automobile, and for the field equipment. 
Men who cannot measure up to these requirements 
should be dispensed with. 

The men in the field should understand that there 
is a definite scale of promotion that they must go 
through, and that this training is a necessary part 
of their general education in highway work. Every 
effort will be made to give credit for thorough, effi- 
cient, and economical field work. The opportunity 


offered in the surveying- work for practice in organ- 
ization, handling other men, and meeting people can- 
not be equalled in any other line of engineering work 
which is open to men of the same age and experience. 
The manner in which the surveying party is handled 
and the results secured is a very good index of the 
ability of the man in charge and an excellent indica- 
tion as to what he will do when placed in a more im- 
portant administrative or executive position. 

Chief of Party 21123 

A properly organized party should be headed by a 
Chief of Party. He should preferably be a technical 
man, not necessarily a college graduate, but a man 
with enough technical training to handle the details 
of the surveying and office work. Both he and the 
instrument man must have a knowledge of trigonome- 
try, and any non-technically educated man in the or- 
ganization who aspires to a higher rating will find it 
very advantageous to spend some of his spare time 
on a correspondence course in trigonometry and sur- 
veying. Experience in general surveying work is 
essential, and he must have a thorough knowledge of 
the methods and policies of the department, the his- 
tory of the organization and the laws under which 
the commission operates. Experience in construction 
work of any kind is very valuable. The Chief of 
Party must be a man with executive ability and be 
able to handle men in such a way that they will work 
willingly. He should possess patience, tact, and sound 
judgment, must have a keen sense of diplomacy, and 
know how to get results without arguments and with 
the least possible friction. He will be obliged to in- 
terview farmers and other men in the community and 
should be able to learn the conditions surrounding 
the project without talking too much. 

In general, his duties are to handle the reconnais- 
sance, do the planning for the party, designate the 
duties of each man, and accept general responsibility 
for the whole procedure. As a rule, he works ahead 
of the party, determines the location of the center 
line, the angle points, character of the curves, size 
of drainage structures, and makes such notations as 
are necessary to furnish complete information for 
future use. He checks the angles read by the in- 
strument men and the computations for the curves 
and when not otherwise employed may take "head 
chain" to expedite the work. He interviews farmers 
regarding general drainage conditions in the vicin- 



ity, and property owners as to their land lines, and 
makes all the general arrangements for the party. 

There need be only enough Chiefs of Party in each 
division to get all of the field work done during the 
season, employing each in the field continuously. It 
will not be possible for any of these men to handle 
the computing on all of the projects which he sur- 
veys, but his office work should be so arranged that 
he can supervise or check the jobs with which he 
has been connected in the field. 

He must be able to accept responsibility for all 
state property and to delegate a certain amount of 
this to other individuals. He should consider that 
he is working for a large corporation and the mere 
fact that the property in his care is owned by the 
state must not be accepted as an excuse for careless 
loss or breakage. 

In general, he is responsible for the entire job, for 
the time required, for the character of the work and, 
above all, should remember that he is acting in a 
supervisory capacity. He will not take upon himself, 
to any great degree, any detailed duties necessary in 
the execution of the survey, as his attention and 
energy should be directed upon the executive and 
engineering features of the work. He is expected to 
direct any member of the party whose work is un- 
satisfactory to report to the division engineer. 

Instrument Man 21124 

It is not necessary that the instrument man be a 
college graduate but he should have the same train- 
ing as the Chief of Party. He must be willing to 
accept the responsibility for the instruments and to 
make every effort to prevent damage. He should feel 
a keen personal interest in the care of his instrument 
and never leave it unguarded at any time. 

He must understand the adjustments of the Instru- 
ment thoroughly and be able to make them rapidly. 
He will find that it is sometimes necessary to work 
under adverse conditions and should make every 
effort to adjust himself to them. He will be held 
responsible for running lines and for all the actual 
mechanical work connected with the survey and will 
assist in taking topography or in such other duties 
as assigned to him by the Chief of Party. 

He ought not however, to consider that his respon- 
sibility ends with correct instrument work and accur- 
ate notes, for it should be his constant endeavor to co- 
operate in every way possible with the Chief of Party. 

The instrument man on each survey will be the man 


who is expected to do the major portion of the com- 
puting work on that particular plan during the office 
season. This means that he will have relatively few 
surveys during the year, and that the Chief of Party 
will have several different instrument men in the 
course of the summer's work. He must feel that the 
particular job in hand is his job which he is surveying 
under the direction of the Chief of Party. 

Rod Man 21125 

The two rod men or tape men must ordinarily have 
some little education and be able to grasp the re- 
quirements of the situation. They should learn to 
use the rod and tape rapidly and where possible, have 
had some experience in cross sectioning work. While 
this is not so essential in the case of the fourth man, 
he ought to be intelligent and capable of quickly 
learning the duties required of him. The practice of 
hiring irresponsible youngsters or men of mature age, 
who have no interest whatever in the proceedings, 
will be discouraged where possible. It should be 
understood that the head chain man is the life of 
the party and that the speed of the work depends 
very largely upon him. In fact, the Chief of Party 
must make every effort to train these men in a knowl- 
edge of what to do and how properly to do it. 

Two Parties 2113 

On long surveys or where there are several shorter 
surveys in the same locality, it is possible to speed 
up the completion of the work by putting on addi- 
tional men. This can best be done by the organiza- 
tion of a level party to run the bench levels and do 
the cross sectioning. Some thought should be given 
to this proposition in advance and care observed that 
the transit party is well out of the way before the 
level party commences on the job. Two parties can 
be used to very good advantage late in the fall when 
every offort is being made to clean up all work pos- 
sible before the winter freeze-up. 

Character of Motor Equipment 2114 

The question of the type of motor vehicle to be 
used on surveying parties is subject to much argu- 
ment. It has been found in most cases that a light 
truck of the GMC class is the most desirable, as this 
gives an opportunity to haul stakes, camp equipment, 
and men in one load, without any great depreciation 
of the car. It is true that they are not quite so mobile 



as a Ford touring car but it is generally found pos- 
sible to do everything" with the truck that can be 
done with a Ford and much besides. On the other 
hand, they are generally in much better mechanical 
condition and can be kept so with less lost time for 
repairs. On smaller jobs or state aid surveys, where 
only one or two men and a limited amount of equip- 
ment is necessary, the Ford may be the most satis- 
factory. The use of a Ford to supplement the truck 
may be desirable in extreme cases where the surveys 
are isolated, but it has been found that the more 
self-contained and independent the party is in the 
field, the more efficiently it will operate. 

Housing Problem 2115 

The problem of making proper arrangements for 
board and room for surveying parties is a very im- 
portant one. In practically all types of engineering 
work where there are field parties, every effort is 
made to locate the party as close to the work as pos- 
sible. The solution in highway work, as in other field 
engineering, seems to be in the use of portable camps, 
and where it is possible tents should be secured and 
used. Quite frequently it will be found possible to 
work great economy in field expense if the party can 
board at an adjacent farm house; but it is often diffi- 
cult to find one where the farmer's wife can furnish 
both room and board. A solution of this difficulty is 
to erect the tent in the yard and board with the 
farmer, in cold weather, taking over one room in the 
house and using the portable cots and camp furniture. 
This arrangement has been found very satisfactory, 
especially in the less densely populated sections of 
the state. 

All material issued to field parties should be se- 
cured by requisition and issued only by the person in 
the office in charge of stores. It will be charged to 
the Chief of Party and the office clerk ought to make 
periodical reports to the division engineer, showing 
the account with each party. 

Instruments 2122 

Every effort will be made to let one man use the 
same instrument continuously. This is not always 
possible and if it cannot be done the instrument 



Issuing- Equipment 



should be turned in at the office in good condition and 
not transferred from man to man. Some one person 
in the office ought to be responsible for the examina- 
tion of these instruments and the prompt reporting of 
necessary repairs. The individual who last used the 
transit will be held responsible for damages caused 
by carelessness or rough usage. The instrument 
should not be issued again unless in good condition. 
Repairs can be made promptly if known in time, and 
extra parts of a minor nature, such as plate bubbles, 
tangent screw springs and so forth, may be kept on 
hand in the division office. 

The Swiss instruments received from the War De- 
partment must be handled very carefully. It has 
been found that it is possible to do excellent work 
with these machines, but it is well to remember that 
they will not stand abuse of any kind. The parts 
are soft and easily broken and special care must be 
used in handling them. 

Transits and levels, even though carefully boxed, 
must not be piled in the back seat of a car, but be 
carried carefully in an upright position by the per- 
son in the front seat. It will be found that if the 
instrument man takes especial interest in his machine 
and is careful to carry it in his lap when riding in 
an automobile, rather than placing it in a box, the 
better results secured will be well worth while. 

Instruments must not be left at any time unless 
the legs are firmly planted in the ground, so that the 
instrument will stand alone. This applies especially 
when going through fences and climbing over rough 
and difficult ground. It will be found that if a few 
of these precautions are observed, that the instru- 
ments will retain their adjustment much better and 
the depreciation as a whole will be considerably less. 

The instrument man should know the limitations of 
his machine and use it accordingly. He must under- 
stand the construction thoroughly, be able to take it 
apart and put it together again, to make minor re- 
pairs, and, if necessary, be able to replace cross hairs. 

There is somewhat of a tendency to feel that the 
equipment used in the field is state property and that 
there is plenty more where that came from. This feel- 
ing is to be discouraged, and field engineers should 
have a personal interest in their equipment and 
realize that if they make material savings in its use, 
that collectively these savings will be very considera- 



Transit 21221 

Each party will be equipped with a transit of the 
best quality available. It is true that there are some 
second grade instruments still in use by the depart- 
ment, but the fact that an instrument is old is no 
excuse for poor work. A good man can do good work 
with a poor instrument if he wants to and tries hard 
enough, and the very best argument for better in- 
struments is to show that the instrument men now 
employed will take care of them. In fact, it is a 
little hard to justify the use of high-grade machines 
at all and it is hoped that in the future the men to 
whom they are entrusted will make a special effort to 
keep the poorer instruments in the best condition 
possible. It is possible that a better grade of instru- 
ments will be purchased, and it depends very largely 
upon the attitude of the present instrument men as 
to whether or not this will be done. Most instruments 
are equipped with stadia wires. The operator should 
know how to use them, especially in taking rod read- 
ings above the top of the rod on cross sectioning work. 

Levels 21222 

A g-ood level Will be available for running bench 
levels and for cross sectioning- on federal aid or con- 
tract work. Most of thje levels owned by the depart- 
ment are first-class instruments and ought to be 
treated as such. No level should be used at any time 
without checking the adjustments carefully. 

Steel Tapes 21223 

The 5-16 inch Chicago Steel Tapes will be supplied 
for chaining purposes. This width has been adopted 
as standard and those of any other width should be 
replaced as rapidly as possible. The steel tape ought 
to be used whenever possible, and by a little in- 
genuity, it will be found that it can be used in vir- 
tually all cases. It is not necessary to break these 
tapes on road work; in fact, there is very little ex- 
cuse for doing so. One man in the party should be 
made responsible for the tape at all times, and it 
must be his duty to see that it does not get into places 
where it will be run over or broken because the kinks 
are not removed. Steel tapes require careful handling 
and wiping off before being rolled up. If the tape 
cannot be thrown easily, there is something the mat- 
ter with the way it is done up and it should be un- 
wound and done up a second time. Do not try to 
twist it into shape by force. 


Chicago Steel Tape Fasteners 21224 

These will be supplied and should be carried at 
all times by instrument men in the field. Especial 
care must be taken to see that the proper width is 
on hand, and a file or a piece of emery cloth should 
also be carried. 

Metallic Tapes 21225 

Every party will be equipped with one 100-foot 
metallic tape and one 50-foot metallic tape, the equip- 
ment to include cases and extra fillers. These should 
be used carefully, as they cost nearly as much as a 
steel tape. The only excuse for their use at all is 
because they can be read more rapidly, and if the 
steel tape can be substituted, it should always be 
used. They must be kept out of water and mud where 
possible, even at a little extra trouble and if wet, 
must be wiped off and dried before being- rolled up. 
Before being- used a piece of leather about one foot 
long should be sewed on the back of the tape at 
the two ends, as they wear out first at these two 

Chicago Rod 21226 

The Chicago Rod will be used on all work. These 
rods are jointed, and while substantially built, can- 
not be used for jumping streams or climbing hills. 
Care must be used in handling- them to prevent de- 
facement of the figures. The use of rod tapes is pro- 
hibited under all circumstances. 

Range Poles 21227 

Two jointed steel range poles are furnished for each 
party and should be used only for the purposes in- 




The following equipment 

1. Notebook and plans 
of previous surveys. 

2. Maps (topographic if 

3. Notebooks sufficient to 
complete survey. 

4. At least one good axe. 

5. Hand axe. 

6. Numbered stakes and 

blank ones. 

7. Paint and brush. 

8. Spikes for bench 

9. Roofing nails and red 

K). Stout string for set- 
ting intersections. 

11. Pick and shovel. 

12. Earth auger. 

13. Jointed sounding rod 
in 4 ft. s'ections. 
(Sledge and pipe 

14. Pocket compass. 

15. Two extra plumb 

16. Two hand levels. 

17. Frost pin if necessary. 

18. Reading glass and ad- 
justing pin. 

19. Knapsack for field 

20. Kiel or lumber 


should be carried by every 

21. Drafting equipment. 

Thumb tacks. 
Lead pencils. 
Detail paper. 
Profile paper. 
Small drawing 

Scratch pads. 

22. Engineers' handbook. 

23. Highway commission 

24. Blank forms. 

Bridge report cards. 
Traffic census 

Labor pay vouchers. 
Daily report cards. 
Stamped envelopes 

and paper. 

25. Inventory of camp 

26. Inventory of motor 

27. Key to tool box on 

28. Camera if possible. 

29. Each man should 
have : 

Weekly expense 

Check book. 

Preliminary Discussion 2131 

Before leaving the office, the Chief of Party or in- 
strument man in charge must go over the situation 
very thoroughly. He should discuss the matter with 
the division engineers or the authorized assistant, 
keeping careful minutes of the conference in his note- 
book. All of the details as to board, camp equipment, 
motor eauipment and personnel of party will be dis- 



cussed and settled at that time. A careless, thought- 
less preparation for a field trip generally causes loss 
of time, inefficiency and lack of harmony in the party. 

Maps 2132 

He should secure a good map which can be carried 
into the field, preferably a topographic map. He will 
have the draftsman make a sketch which will later 
be used as the basis for the right of way map on a 
scale of about two inches to the mile, which shows 
the section lines, corporate limits, and property own- 
ers. This will be of considerable value when secur- 
ing information on right of way. He should enter in 
his notebook the data on section, town and range. 
If it is a section line road, he ought to consult the 
county surveyor for information as to the location of 
section corners, but as a rule their location can be 
obtained from people living in the immediate vicinity. 

Information from Office 2133 

In case of a state aid job he must determine if the 
road is on the County System of Prospective State 
Highways. He should also determine as to whether 
or not the survey is a continuation of a previous sur- 
vey and, if so, get both field book and plans. It will 
be carefully noted in this connection that at this 
time both field books will be cross indexed. 

Equipment 2134 

He should determine on the approximate number of 
stakes, have them numbered, bound in bundles and 
shipped to the job to arrive well ahead of the party, 
if they cannot be carried in the car. He must make 
definite arrangements for the use of instruments and 
if a level party is to be used, this should be arranged 
by schedule. 

A practical necessity for the Chief of Party is a 
good private notebook of a type similar to that known 
as "Lefax". He should have in permanent form on 
the first page of this book a list of the equipment 
necessary for a field trip as tabulated in this hand- 
book. He ought to check off each item as he receives 
it, assuring himself that it is in proper condition and 
that all the requirements have been complied with 
before leaving the office. If this practice can be made 
a part of a definite routine, it will be found that con- 
siderable time and inconvenience can be saved. 


4 7 



General Plan 


The general purpose of the road survey is to make 
an accurate record by rectangular co-ordinates, sup- 
plemented by a complete level survey of topographical 
conditions as they exist. This should be done with 
the character of the improvement always in mind, and 
the information secured must be complete and ac- 

Planning: the Work 2142 

In all cases where possible the Chief of Party ought 
to go over the ground carefully in advance with the 
location engineer in his district, and if this cannot 
be done, will make a careful investigation of condi- 
tions himself. He should never start his survey un- 
til he has a clean cut idea of where and how the line 
is to be run. He must decide on the requirements of 
the situation and arrange his own work accordingly. 
He should remember that the planning of the job is 
by far the most important feature from his stand- 
point and that a great deal of waste time can be 
eliminated by careful forethought at all stages of the 

The speed of the party depends to a great degree 
upon the accuracy of the instrument work. Errors 
in levels are sometimes made, and very often the sur- 
veyor has difficulty in locating the error and correct- 
ing the notes. This is especially important on those 
jobs where the yardage is light and where a difference 
of elevation of one or two tenths will be of consid- 
erable importance. Most of the trouble in this re- 
spect has been experienced in staking out concrete 
road jobs and in figuring yardage after re-cross sec- 

A necessity for efficient work is the establishment 
of an accurate line of bench levels. Where possible, 
this will be done before any other instrument work on 
the survey is started. In the case of an old road sur- 
vey the instrument man and the two helpers can 
advantageously run the bench levels while the Chief 
of Party is sizing up the job. With relocation or 
similar surveys, some judgment must be used in or- 
ganizing the party. In any event, the bench levels 
should be run and closed before cross sectioning 




Selection of Benches 21431 

The running- of the bench levels results in a series 
of bench marks located not more than one thousand 
feet apart and preferably less. They should be es- 
tablished at all drainage structures, curves which are 
to be elevated, and other similar points. Care must 
be exercised in the location of these bench marks. 
They must be placed on very stable objects, such as 
trees, large rocks, or water tables of buildings. The 
bench ought to be so located that it is accessible 
when shots are desired during construction. They 
should be established far enough from the center line 
that there is no danger of being destroyed. The prac- 
tice of using telephone poles will be discontinued ex- 
cept in very special cases. It would seem possible 
to use only those poles which do not fall within the 
limits of construction, but experience has shown that 
it is rather difficult to determine this at the time of 
the survey and that much better results will be se- 
cured if trees or other objects well beyond the fence 
lines are used. It should be borne in mind that the 
usefulness of these benches continues until the con- 
struction of the road is completed. They may even 
be used in years to come as reference points in read- 
ings for the subsidence of hard surfacings or by the 
U. S. G. S. 

In running bench levels especial care must be used 
to see that the back-sights and fore-sights are equal 
between bench marks and that all BM's are in the 
line and not on side shots. Notes will be figured as 
the level line proceeds and Hi's be checked before 
leaving the field. 

Marking Bench Marks 21432 

The bench marks must be plainly marked with 
paint. They should also be numbered consecutively 
from the beginning to the end of the project. With 
large rocks the highest point will be used or better a 
cross chiseled in the face of the stone to mark the 
exact point. Bench marks in poles or trees may be 
made by driving a spike, preferably a railroad spike 
horizontally about a foot from the ground. In es- 
tablishing such benches it is much more satisfactory, 
however, to drive the spike vertically into one of the 
lateral roots. This may be improved on somewhat 
by cutting out a notch or level place in the root with 
a nail in the center. In such cases the distance from 
the trunk of the tree to the nail should be shown in 



the notes. The number and elevation of the bench 
ought to be painted in some conspicuous place as near 
as possible to the exact point. 

Datum 21433 

Datum for the levels must be taken from a geo- 
logical bench mark whenever possible. Where this 
cannot be done, it may be assumed. Care must be 
observed that the datum assumed is such that there 
will be no elevations on the survey below zero. Old 
surveys will be tied on to and where U. S. G. S. datum 
is not used on the new survey, the datum of the old 
will be continued. The United States Geological Sur- 
vey and the Coast and Geodetic Survey have estab- 
lished a large number of benches throughout the state. 
In addition to these, the elevations of the base of rail 
in front of almost every railroad station has been 
adjusted to the United States Geological Survey datum. 
An examination of the "Dictionary of Altitudes" of 
the U. S. G. S. on file at each division office will show 
that in addition to the copper tablet bench marks 
there are a great number of smaller bench marks 
covering those sections of the state where the survey 
has worked in the last few years. In fact, it will be 
found that in the southern and western half of the 
state, and some of the northwestern, if a con- 
scientious effort is made to take advantage of the 
work of the Government, that in a few years it will 
be virtually unnecessary to run check levels at all. 
Surveyors should not hesitate to run one or even 
more miles in easy country to tie on to the Govern- 
ment elevations, and if this practice is followed over 
a period of years the results secured will not only be 
of considerable value to the Government, but will be 
of even more value to the Highway Department in 
co-ordinating and systematizing our entire field pro- 
cedure. Levels from such datum are of considerable 
value to the geologist in making surveys for road 

Record of Bench Marks 21434 

The elevations of these bench marks will be re- 
corded on the fourth page of the notebook for that 
survey with a definite description of each. Here they 
are readily accessible for reference and can later be 
accurately located with reference to the transit line 
and incorporated in the traverse notes. Check levels 
should be run over the entire survey with each one 


of the bench marks in the line of levels so that the 
adjusted elevation of every bench is correct and final. 

Adjustment of Other Levels to Bench Elevations 21435 r 

When such a line of bench levels has been estab- 
lished very little time will be lost in correcting- errors 
in elevations during- the course of the survey. Small 
errors which creep in during the cross sectioning be- 
tween bench marks should be corrected at each bench 
so that the notes always proceed with the correct 
elevation. This will be done by correcting the H. I. 
and noting near the corrected value, "This H. I. cor- 
rected to elevation of B. M. No ". 

Check Levels for Stakes 21436 

Use of bench levels should eliminate the necessity 
of running check levels over the stake tops provided 
that the elevations on the stakes are read with a level 
or transit with a single horizontal wire. It is sur- 
prisingly true that nine-tenths of the errors in levels 
are found to be due to the reading of the wrong wire 
in the transit equipped with stadia wires. This means 
simply that more care must be exercised in reading 
the rod, and that instrument men who have not had 
any considerable experience with stadia topography 
should not attempt to make as much speed with a 
transit equipped with stadia wires as with a level 
and must learn to check carefully when reading the 
rod, noting in addition to the rod reading itself the 
location of the other two wires. It ought to be suffi- 
cient to check the stake tops when the job is staked 
out for construction. 

Double Rodded Lines 21437 

The use of double rodded lines for primary levels 
is not to be encouraged. It is true that equally ac- 
curate results can be secured and that this practice is 
used very extensively by the U. S. G. S., but it must 
be remembered that it is to be employed only with 
experienced instrument men and rod men and then 
with considerable caution. The practice of running 
ordinary levels with all the bench marks included 
in the level line in both directions with back-sights 
and fore-sights balanced up between bench marks will 
probably produce much better results in the end. 





Center Line 


While the remainder of the party is running* the 
bench levels, the Chief of Party can go over the job 
carefully and decide definitely as to the plan for the 
complete execution of the work. He should size up 
conditions as they exist, keeping in mind the charac- 
ter and type of the improvement. Drainage struc- 
tures must be examined and a definite decision made 
as to whether or not they are to be retained. The 
size of the probable cuts and fills will be estimated 
and the location of the center line determined as 
definitely as possible. 

On old roads this is not difficult, for as a rule the 
new line will follow approximately the center of the 
old traveled way or the center line between fences. 
In averaging up the fence lines, several points should 
be taken at the center 'and at the ends of the tan- 
gents. On long curves the new center line ought to 
follow the old roughly, replacing compound and re- 
verse curves with one long simple curve. "Broken- 
back" curves will be avoided. Where it seems neces- 
sary to depart from the old grade, the character of 
the new work must be investigated and a definite 
decision made as to the advisability of the change. 

Special features at times determine the location of 
the center line, such as cemeteries, buildings, trees 
that should be preserved, rock outcrops, intersecting 
highways, railroad crossings, or bad breaks in the 
topography. In villages, information as to the drain- 
age conditions, sewer, and water mains, and estab- 
lished grades must be taken into consideration, as 
these factors have a very definite relation to the cen- 
ter line and grade of the proposed improvement. 

As a rule tangents should be as long as possible. 
On section lines where there are no limiting condi- 
tions the line may be run between corners, either by 
"wiggling in" at some point between or by running 
a random line and correcting back before setting the 
stakes. As a rule, angles in the center line will be 
placed at the tops of hills. This is generally pos- 
sible in rolling country, and the completed work then 
has the appearance of being a continuous straight 

Point of Beginning 2144.02 

If the job is to be a continuation of a previous 
survey, the surveyor must have at hand all informa- 



tion for a complete and accurate tie. He should not 
hesitate to recommend changes in the established 
alignment if the work is not constructed and may 
even resurvey a portion of the completed work if 
necessary to make the junction of the two jobs com- 
ply with the requirements of the department. He 
ought to keep in mind the elementary principles of 
surveying and in making his tie go back far enough 
to the end of the last tangent if necessary, to be sure 
that the new tangent is a continuation of the old. 

In case the beginning of the survey is at the end 
of a city street, an effort should be made to establish 
as definitely as possible the lot lines in the adjacent 
blocks and to work out the situation to the best ad- 
vantage possible. As a general proposition, it is not 
necessary to start a survey at a section stone, if 
economies can be worked in construction cost or bet- 
ter alignment secured otherwise. If there is nothing 
to be gained in this direction, effort will be made to 
establish the center line on the section line and start 
the survey at the stone. 

Stakes 2144.03 

Stakes should be numbered in advance and the fig- 
ures put on with paint or enamel. The color is not 
material, but the paint must be of good quality. In 
doing this, it may be noted that if the stakes are 
held with the point to the left, the significant digit 
will always be at the top of the stake. When the 
stake has been in the ground for some time the lower 
part of the number becomes obliterated. While it is 
always possible to locate one's self within ten sta- 
tions, this method will assure that the significant 
figure for any station is always legible. 

The stakes should be tied in bundles of ten to act 
as a check on the chaining. They may then be car- 
ried conveniently or distributed with a car, throwing 
out one bundle each two-tenths of a mile. The chain 
men can work much faster when they are not ham- 
pered with a bundle or two of stakes. Any plan of 
distributing stakes must be carried out with consider- 
able care as the lost time consumed in running after 
them may easily be greater than that lost in handling 
the bundles. 

Running: the Line 2144.04 

When the point of beginning has been carefully 
located and the transit set up, the foresight will be 



indicated by the Chief of Party. The . transit line 
should be used as center line for the project if pos- 
sible and, as in any case, it will be used as a basis 
for computing' the established center line, every ef- 
fort must be made to simplify these necessary com- 
putations by care in the field. In rough and broken 
country it has been found inadvisable to attempt the 
use of the transit line as center line, especially if 
there are curves, which is generally the case. Every 
effort should be made to make the transit line parallel 
to the proposed center line, or at least to have the 
angles come at points where there will be curves. 
The stakes are then lined in with zero at the point 
of beginning, or with a- number a continuation of a 
previous survey, if the job is one of that nature. 
Where the transit line falls within the traveled way, 
roofing nails with squares of red cloth may be used to 
mark the stations. In case of heavy traffic, the line 
may be run on an offset parallel with the center line, 
but this procedure is to be avoided if possible. The 
range pole should be carried by the head chainman 
and used for lining in the points, although when 
plainly visible, the stake itself may be lined. 

Chaining 2144.05 

The instrument man stays with the transit, reading 
all angles and bearings and lining in the stakes. 
After checking the readings and recording the ob- 
servations, the Chief of Party may precede the chain- 
man with the notebook recording such information 
as he sees fit. The most energetic helper should be 
selected as head chainman, or the Chief may handle 
the tape himself. The rear chainman will carry what- 
ever stakes are necessary, including a few extra for 
pluses and to replace broken ones, also the axe or 
sledge. The head chainman should also carry a few 
stakes as well as the flag, and a hand axe with which 
to drive the stakes or markers temporarily. If the 
stakes are to remain on the transit line, the rear 
chainman will drive them permanently as soon as he 
comes up. The axe man should work ahead under 
the supervision of the Chief and must learn to clear 
a narrow straight opening, going ahead and work- 
ing back toward the instrument if necessary. 

All chaining must be done with a steel tape. The 
chainmen will be provided with plumb bobs and on 
heavy grades should "break chain." On grades un- 
der five or six per cent, this is probably a useless 
refinement, but it is well to remember that all lat- 


eral operations on the plans are done with horizontal 
measurements. In chaining center line the slope 
measurement should not be used where the grade ex- 
ceeds five or six per cent, as estimates for surfacing 
are based on the length of the finished grade. 

The zero end of the tape must always be kept ahead, 
as it will be found that this will speed up the work 
very materially. It means, however, that the rear 
chainman will read the pluses and he should be in- 
structed that he must always be on the side of the 
tape when reading it that the numbers will appear 
right side up. This applies to all measurements 
taken with any kind of a tape. The person reading 
should also check an adjacent foot mark. This is es- 
pecially important when the tape becomes somewhat 

The following method of measuring with a steel 
tape has been found very satisfactory. It must be 
understood by all men in the party that when tenths 
are held that the number indicated is always meas- 
ured from the one foot mark back toward zero. The 
man at the zero end of the tape first holds the end 
on the object to which the distance is to be deter- 
mined. The rear chainman tightens the tape noting 
where the mark falls from which the measurement is 
to be taken. He then loosens the tape, holding the 
adjacent foot furthest from the zero end on the mark 
at the same time saying, "take it to you," and adds 

"holding The head chainman tightens the 

tape, noting the number of tenths held off from foot 
No. 1, subtracts one foot from the number stated by 
the rear chainman and announces the distance. Thus, 
if the distance to be measured is 33.3 feet, the rear 
chainman holds 34. The head chainman reads .3 from 
one foot back toward zero and announces promptly 
33.3 feet. 

This method may not be the only satisfactory one 
for using a steel tape, but some method must be de- 
cided upon and used in all cases. The system adopted 
must be regularly followed, and the one outlined 
above has been found very satisfactory on all kinds 
of work where the results had to be accurate. In 
chaining in center line and in cross sectioning, the 
tenths may generally be estimated by the rear chain- 
man, but in referencing in hubs and in measuring to 
permanent objects, the method outlined above should 
be used to secure accuracy. 



Foresights 2144.06 

All road surveys should be run to a foresight which 
is left in place until the party reaches the point. 
When it is necessary to project the line ahead from 
a backsight, the instrument man ought to "double 
center" and use every care that the new tangent is a 
prolongation of the old. This method applies to all 
surveying work, but some men fail to realize that the 
character of their work is materially improved if a 
foresight is always in view. 

Pluses 2144.07 

The location of the intermediate stakes will be in- 
dicated by the Chief of Party. They should be set 
on the center line and later set over, the same as sta- 
tion stakes. This is necessary that the sections on 
the re-cross sectioning come at the same place. These 
stakes must be numbered and painted the same as 
the others, the station number as well as the plus 
appearing on each. 

Plus stakes must be set at drainage structures and 
enough information taken to reference them in prop- 
erly. On curves they will be left at not more than 
fifty-foot intervals and at the even station and half 
station points. Stakes should also be left at points 
where the line crosses fences, and on curves and re- 
locations where the line is outside the old right of 
way, special care ought to be taken to protect them. 
In setting plus stakes for cross sectioning, it is well 
to remember that the tendency is to set too few rather 
than too many. They should be left at breaks in the 
ground on center line and at points which are oppo- 
site breaks in the ground line at the edge of the new 
cut or fill section. The surveyor must attempt to 
visualize his completed road and have pluses at all 
points which are necessary for an accurate computa- 
tion of the yardage. 

Angles 2144.08 

All tangents will be run to an intersection and the 
station number of the point of intersection recorded. 
A substantial hub must be set at all P. I.'s and driven 
flush with the ground. A guard stake should be left 
and marked "guard stake." When the instrument has 
been set up over the new turning point, reference 
stakes will be set to indicate the location of the point 
if the stake is destroyed. This may be done with only 
two stakes on the bisector of the angle, one on each 


side of the linj, or, better still, three or even four 
stakes should be set and the angles between them and 
the distances to the P. I. recorded. The reference 
stakes as well as the hub itself must be driven flush, 
and marked with guard stakes. It should be remem- 
bered that these stakes at times offer the only method 
of re-establishing the center line for construction and 
that they are always the best means. Consequently 
great care must be taken to so locate them that they 
will not be disturbed. They ought to be set well 
back, especially in cultivated land. There is no ob- 
jection to going several hundred feet, if necessary, to 
get beyond the limits of the field. 

Angles will be read in azimuth, with the azimuth 
of the back line assumed as zero, the upper plate 
being rotated clockwise. This is a rather clumsy 
method, but as most of the transits are graduated 
from zero to 360 degrees in both directions, this prac- 
tice will be continued for the present, as it does elim- 
inate to some extent the possibility of error in not- 
ing the direction of the deflection. 

The bearing of the line must be computed and 
checked with the magnetic needle, and the notes 
should always indicate in the front of the book 
whether the "open compass" was used and if not, 
what declination was set off. 

Curves 2144.09 

As a rule, curves are staked out at the same time 
that the remainder of the line is run. The time nec- 
essary to compute the deflection angles is generally 
less than the time consumed in coming back to run 
the curves, but observers often do not understand 
why the party is apparently idle and it is frequently 
advisable to delay the computations until night. 

The factors determining the degree of curve are: 

1. The traffic conditions and the standards of the 
department. A two hundred foot radius curve is the 
absolute minimum that will be approved by the Fed- 
eral Department, but this should be used only in very 
extreme cases. Every effort must be made to secure 
a minimum of three hundred feet or from four to 
eight hundred, where possible. It will be necessary 
to use some discretion in the matter when there are 
no limiting considerations, but nothing under four 
hundred feet should be used in those cases. 

2. Where there are limiting conditions the degree 
necessary may be ascertained by selecting some de- 
sirable external or tangent distance and computing a 
degree of curvature which will fit the ground. It is 
quite obvious that any one of the functions of a curve, 
such as, tangent distance, external distance, or radius 
may be the limiting condition and with this in mind, 








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the proper curve can be readily computed by the use 
of some standard table giving the functions of a one 
degree curve. 

If, for any reason, it seems desirable to delay the 
actual running in of the curve the length must be 
determined, the point of curve and the point of tan- 
gent located, and the stationing carried ahead. P. C.'s 
and P. T.'s should be set and referred in the same 
manner as P. I.'s, and if this is carefully done, it will 
be found that in staking out the work for construc- 
tion, a great deal of time and re-surveying will be 
saved. Curve notes will be placed in the back of the 
notebook, the first curve being on the last page. 

Reference Points 2144.10 
The transit line must be carefully referenced in at 
not over one thousand foot intervals, preferably every 
five hundred feet and with at least three points on 
every tangent, including, of course, the P. I.'s. This 
may be done by careful measurements to substantial 
drainage structures which will not be disturbed, to 
the face of buildings, with the direction of the refer- 
ence lines determined by the side of the building, or 
by reference stakes set carefully as outlined above. 
Every effort should be made to leave the line so ref- 
erenced in that if all the grade stakes are missing, it 
can be picked up again in a few minutes. 

Section Stones 2144.11 

Section stones will be carefully tied in, preferably 
by double intersection, that is, by four stakes so set 
that the diagonal lines between them will intersect 
at right angles over the center of the stone. This 
plan makes measurements unnecessary and is very ad- 
visable in rough ground, but any other method may 
be used. This information must be given to the in- 
spector and the stones replaced when grading^ is com- 
pleted. On concrete roads, the point will be marked 
with a brass tablet furnished by the department for 
that purpose. 

Ends of Surveys 2144.12 

It has been decided that the department will co- 
operate in every way possible with the United States 
Geological Survey. It seems that the Survey" can use 
the road traverses of the department if they can pick 
up the ends of them reasonably close, in fact, if only 
within forty or fifty feet. As a result of this action, 
it will be necessary for surveyors to mark the ends 



of their surveys, if they are of any considerable length, 
so plainly that a surveying party of the Government 
can readily pick them up and know from the descrip- 
tion at hand the character of the survey. Probably 
the most advisable method would be to set perma- 
nent posts of some kind at each end, one on either 
side of the road, and with the distance from the post 
to the station plainly marked. If this is not advis- 
able, trees may be blazed and enough paint used in 
the neighborhood to indicate the number of the sur- 
vey and the number of the station being referenced in. 

Setting: Back Stakes 2144.13 

When as many stakes have been run out as can be 
set over in one day, the party should be reorganized 
and the reference stakes set. Either one of two plans 
may be adopted, depending on the character of the 
personnel of the party. The most common method 
and the one used in the more important surveys is to 
have a man precede the party setting over the stakes 
at the fence lines, leaving a mark at the station 
points, the instrument man taking the readings at 
the station point and the second helper taking all the 
measurements on both sides of the road. The Chief 
is then able to devote all of his time to his notes. 

Many ,other methods of organization have been 
worked out, some of which involve tying the zero 
ends of the tapes together and holding them on the 
station point, but they all resolve themselves into 
some plan of keeping everybody at work at the same 

Reference Stakes 2144.14 

Generally speaking, the stakes should be set as 
close to the fence as possible in order to protect them. 
Where there is not much to be gained in this way, the 
office work can be very much simplified by setting 
them at an even distance in feet and preferably at a 
constant distance from the transit line. Stakes must 
be left on both sides of the road at about five hundred 
foot intervals and one of them marked "reference 
stake" at this time. The practice of setting stakes 
on both sides is recommended on all surveys, and in 
rough country this must always be done to estab- 
lish the line of the cross sections so that the final 
section may be taken on the same line. The opposite 
stake will be marked "reference stake" only. All 
curves should be double staked. Every effort ought 



to be made to so locate these stakes that they will 
not be disturbed for several years and if the com-' 
pleted project is kept in mind they may easily be set 
well outside of the cut and fill lines. Stakes should 
not be placed in private drives, open lawns, barnyards, 
or fields. It is virtually useless to leave them in open 
fields and if markers are left at the fences the line 
stakes may be pulled out when the work is completed. 
The practice leaving- stakes which will be hit by 
mower or binder sickles or plowed under within a few 
weeks and before construction work begins will be 
discontinued. Where possible, the station numbers 
will be painted on walls or trees as a help to persons 
searching for certain stakes. 

Physical Features 2144.15 

All features that have any influence on the design of 
the project must be carefully located at this time. 
These will be discussed under the subject of topog- 
raphy and notes. If the transit line is not to be used 
as centerline, measurements for the proposed center 
line should be taken at two points on all tangents, and 
no survey is complete unless the notes show a defi- 
nitely recommended centerline for the entire length of 
the survey. 


The main purpose of the topographic survey is to 
make a record of the situation in the field in such form 
that the information may be reproduced on paper and 
the project so designed that all conditions will be com- 
plied with. The information tabulated under "topo- 
graphic notes" should be secured and anything in ad- 
dition that will affect the design of the project. 
Among the most important features may be men- 
tioned : 

Location of Buildings 21451 
Buildings near the transit line or so situated that 
they may influence the location should be carefully 
measured up by angles and distances to the corners. 
If there is no possibility of a change in center line in 
the office and the buildings are not near the line, dis- 
tances may be estimated. 

Clearing: and Grubbing; 21452 
The limits of the necessary clearing and the area 
to be grubbed will be carefully noted. The two ele- 



ments should be separated, and the area of each shown 
as well as the character of the work. 

Rock 214 53 

Rock outcrops or indications of rock must be lo- 
cated carefully as they have an important bearing - on 
the location of the center line and grade. Often it is 
advisable to make soundings for cuts where there are 
no indications whatever. 

Cities and Villages 21454 

In cities and villages, especially where full width 
pavement is to be constructed, the topographic notes 
must be full and complete. In such cases, the sur- 
veyor is virtually city engineer and the pavement 
should be designed in such a way as to comply with 
local conditions and not simply as a country road. 

The underground system of sanitary sewers, water 
and gas mains, and storm sewers should be studied 
carefully and recommendations for additional services 
made in time to insure completion before the pavement 
is laid. The sidewalk grades and elevations of ad- 
jacent lots and houses must be studied as a pavement 
should be laid in such manner, if possible, to insure 
drainage from the property toward the street. This 
often means a considerable increase in excavation, but 
in general, this is more advisable than to compel the 
regrading of lots and the reconstruction of sidewalks. 
Curb and gutter in place will be used if possible, and 
must always be lower than the walk to insure drain- 
age across the parking strip, unless it is obvious that'" 
the sidewalk must be rebuilt. 

Storm water drains must be carefully laid out and 
street intersections studied in detail. Storm water in- 
lets ought to be used and outlets constructed where 
possible. The use of depressions in the pavement to 
carry water across intersections will be discouraged. 
The grades of intersecting streets and sidewalks must 
be studied with the idea that they may be improved 
at a later date by the village. 

If street grades have been established, this must be 
ascertained and if not, the grade on the plan adopted 
by the municipality before the contract is let. In fact, 
the whole situation will be gone over carefully with 
the local authorities and the desirability of adopting 
standard city engineering practices explained to them. 





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Road Intersections 21455 
Road intersections should be carefully sketched in 
and the drainage and nature of the side banks indi- 
cated. It will be remembered that the question of 
vision is of most importance at such places, and that 
this often influences the location of both grade and 
center line. 

Trees in Right of Way 21456 
Every effort will be made to save shade trees, espe- 
cially evergreens. It takes a long time for a tree to 
grow to full size, and the wanton destruction of these 
features must not occur if it is reasonably possible to 
save them. 

Topographic Maps 21457 
The fact should be kept in mind that the approval of 
plans may be very much facilitated if the situation 
can be seen at a glance, and when any unusual feature 
is introduced the information at hand ought to be 
such that the necessity for departure from ordinary 
methods is obvious. 

A definite statement of conditions and the reasons 
for the procedure adopted will in most cases be suf- 
ficient, but at times the situation can be explained 
to the division engineer or the Madison office to much 
better advantage with a topographic map. The in- 
formation for this map may be secured by the ordi- 
nary method of taking topography from a base line, 
but at times a stadia topography survey may be 

Such maps are frequently necessary and advanta- 
geous at 

(1) difficult stream crossings 

(2) bad angles in the center line where sharp curves 
are necessary 

(3) in the outskirts of cities and villages 

(4) at railroad crossings where separation of grade 
is possible 

(5) in rough and broken "pot hole" country 

(6) at bad road intersections 

(7) on new line where a paper location is necessary 

(8) at points where relocations seem obvious but are 

(9) at points where the elimination of bridges, cul- 
verts, curvature or grades seem possible but is not. 

The map should be drawn up to a large scale and 
sent to the main office with the plans when submitted 
for approval. 



DI{AI\A(iK 2146 

The drainage of the road is by far the most impor- 
tant feature of the work. Every effort must be made 
to analyze the conditions as they exist and when the 
survey is completed, the man in charge should be 
satisfied that the water will get away from the road 

Location of Culverts 21461 

The structures in place have generally been built 
after the line of travel was established and changes 
in alignment generally necessitate lengthening or re- 
placement. The center line should be so located that 
these structures will be lengthened on one end only, 
if possible. 

Drainage to Culverts 21462 

It is often possible to drain water along the sides 
of the road to adjacent culverts. This may permit the 
elimination of certain structures, but should be used 
with caution as any change in the established order of 
things, especially on light soils, is liable to produce 
disastrous results. As a general rule, the water should 
be confined to the natural water course and carried 
across the road as quickly as possible. On long side 
hills, culverts will be placed, in general, not to ex- 
ceed five hundred feet apart unless soil conditions war- 
rant some other arrangement. 

Under Drainage 21463 

Where the under drainage is poor, it will be neces- 
sary to establish the grade at least three feet above 
the elevation of the ground water. This may be done 
by lowering the ground water by means of an open 
ditch or in the case of side hill roads especially, the 
flow may be cut off above the road with a line of tile 
drain. Such situations should be studied carefully and 
it will generally be found that a strata of impervious 
material, such as clay, shale or rock, near the surface 
is causing the trouble. A shift in the center line will 
often eliminate the difficulty. Springs may generally 
be handled by a filling with rock or confining the 
water to an open ditch or tile line. 

Run Oft* 21464 

No general formula can be used for computing 
run-off and the surveyor must use good judgment in 


studying" the situation at each culvert. High and low 
water marks should be determined and this checked 
against other information furnished by adjacent prop- 
erty owners. It is often possible to estimate the area 
of cross section of the stream at flood stage at the 
points where it crosses the road, and this data will be 
recorded in the notes. The size of the drainage area 
may be checked up by walking up the draw, or by the 
use of a topographic map and its character and area 
must be shown. The best criterion of course, is the 
size of the old culvert or bridge and their handling of 
the water according to local report. 

Soundings 21465 

All marshes must be carefully investigated. Sound- 
ings should be taken and in case there is any indica- 
tion of sink holes, this will be done very thoroughly. 
The investigation must be made in the early stages of 
the survey for often a sink hole is found that will 
cause the abandoning of the entire line. The earth 
auger may be used to supplement the sounding rod, 
and the field party should be in a position to report as 
to the sub-surface conditions and have sufficient in- 
formation to make a careful estimate of the yardage 
required for fill. The soundings should be plotted on 
the profile. 

Where it is necessary to build culverts or bridges 
in soft ground, sounding will be taken as outlined 
under Bridge Surveys, and if it is found necessary to 
drive test piling, this fact should be shown in the 
notes. Culverts may often be shifted to a point where 
the foundation is better and the water carried to and 
away from them by ditching. 

The boundary of marshes will be shown in the notes 
and if necessary, extensive level lines run to indicate 
the possibility of draining them. The inlet ditches 
to the culvert is important, and especial care must be 
observed that it is not placed in a low place in the 
marsh which will not drain. 

Old Culverts 21466 
Culverts in place will be examined very carefully 
and utilized if possible. It must be remembered, how- 
ever, that a great many of these old structures have 
been built in such locations that they are virtually 
useless on the new work. The cost of lengthening or 
other additions must be carefully considered and the 
material in the culvert itself examined to determine 
what its possible life will be. 




The primary purpose of the cross sectioning- opera- 
tion is to secure the information from which to com- 
pute the yardage of the completed work. At the same 
time all the necessary information is secured with the 
level for the proper location of the center line and 
drainage structures. Features of this work will be 
outlined under notes. 

Location of Sections 21471 

Keeping in mind the fact that enough data must be 
secured to compute the yardage accurately, sections 
should be carefully located. 

They will be taken: 

(a) At all 100 foot stations and on heavy grades at 
50 foot intervals. 

(b) At all breaks in the profile of the center line. 
(C) At all breaks in the profile of the outer line of 

the new grading, that is, the toe of slope and top of 

(d) On the bisector of all angles. 

(e) On radial lines on curves. 

(f) At cross roads. Where it will be necessary to 
do grading on the cross road, the sections should be 
taken at right angles to the side road and tied in to 
the main transit line with a supplementary line or at 
least by careful measurement. 

(g) At private drives. The same method should be 
employed on private drives as on cross roads where 
there will be cut or fill. 

(h) At the ends of all bridges. 

(i) At all culverts. The section, particularly on the 
outlet side, must be carried out so there will be no 
question later in the office as to the head room or pos- 
sible discharge. It should be noted whether this sec- 
tion is to be used for yardage computations as, of 
course, this depends on the slope of the ground to the 
culvert section. Enough additional sections must be 
taken adjacent to the culvert to insure an accurate 

(j) At railroad crossings. The top of the rail will 
be located and sections taken at the end of the ties 
and in the railroad ditches. On skewed sections at 
railroads or culverts, the angle of skew must be plainly 
shown in the notes. 

(k) It should not be necessary to take any sections 
on the main transit line at points where there are no 
stakes, but if the situation is unduly complicated, some 
of the stakes may be left only to indicate the pluses 
and later removed. 

(1) Where skew culverts are required a cross section 
along the water course should be taken a sufficient 
distance each side of center line to get inlet and dis- 
charge elevations. 

Procedure 21472 

All levels will be run forward on the line, that is, in 
the direction in which stake numbers increase. There 


are some advantages in running- backward, the most 
important being that the level notes will be opposite 
the section on the Transit page, but this is not espe- 
cially important. The elevations of the tops of the 
stakes must be taken to hundredths and corrected at 
each bench mark. Intermediate readings may be 
taken to tenths only. 

All measurements should be taken from the center 
line. This includes even stations as well as pluses. 
There is no argument on this point as far as reloca- 
tions are concerned and on a great many of the old 
road surveys, but there are occasions where it will be 
difficult. It must be kept in mind that the time saved 
in platting will be considerable and that if an error is 
made in measuring to the stake either in the field or 
office and the stake later used to measure from, that 
the entire section will be wrong. Cross sectioning 
from the transit line may involve some additional work 
and require a little ingenuity, but in the end will be 
well worth while. A start must be made sometime, 
and it may be only a question of a few years when the 
reference stakes will be eliminated entirely from pre- 
liminary surveys. 

Every precaution should be observed to get the 
cross section wide enough. This is especially impor- 
tant on relocations and at angles where the center 
line may be changed in the office. Lack of care in this 
respect necessitates the return of the party to the 
field if additional information is necessary which in- 
creases the cost of the survey very materially. On 
rough ground where it is impossible to take all the 
readings with a standard level, the ends of the sec- 
tion may be taken with a hand level. As many read- 
ings as possible, however, should always be taken 
with the Wye level. A profile of the road adjacent 
at each end of the survey will be shown and the cross 
sections taken back far enough to include all of the 
yardage necessary to complete the cuts and fills and 
establish the grade at the junction. 

Under most conditions the Chief of Party will re- 
cord the notes. He should occasionally relieve the in- 
strument man so that his work does not become tire- 
some. The recorder must be within hearing and di- 
recting distance of both the rod and the instrument 
man. To work efficiently, the party should take cross 
sections at a rate limited by the speed of the re- 
corder. The chief as a recorder can supervise to best 
advantage. He is in a position to get a perspective of 



the work and can determine where it is necessary to 
take the cross sections. 

The duty of the instrument man in cross sectioning 
is to read all of the elevations as fast and as correctly 
as possible. He must keep his mind on his work and 
use his eyes so that he will know which readings are 
to be taken to hundredths and which to tenths. The 
instrument man can prevent delay by shouting the 
elevations clearly and distinctly and by using snappy 
signals to indicate to the rodman when the elevation 
has been read. Accuracy in levels is, of course, de- 
sired, but very often instrument men waste time in 
reading side shots. As all ground shots are read only 
to tenths he should be able with a quick glance to get 
the reading. It is not necessary to level the instru- 
ment to an ex'actness for these ground shots. 

The rod and tape men can materially slow up a field 
party when they are not working efficiently. The rod- 
man must know the proper points on the ground 
where the shots are necessary. He should be in- 
structed to set his rod at all irregularities, so that 
when the cross sections are drawn they will show 
the actual variations of the ground. It is the duty 
of the Chief of Party to explain this in a manner which 
will be clearly understood. The rodman will carry the 
zero end of the cloth tape in order not to be ham- 
pered by the reel. He must keep his eyes open and 
watch the signals of the instrument man. He should 
know that all stake tops, turning points, and B. M.s 
are to be read to hundredths of a foot and should be 
correspondingly careful to hold the rod correctly at 
such points. All other shots are read to tenths and 
therefore do not need to be read as carefully. He can 
greatly assist the instrument man by shouting "T. P.", 
"B. M." or "stake top" when shots are taken at those 

The tape man carries the reel and takes all his meas- 
urements from the center line stake. He sees to it 
that the tape is held horizontally. He can go promptly 
to the next stake at each section and call the station 
number, thus speeding up the work. As soon as the 
rod is held at the desired point, he should call the dis- 
tance before the instrument man calls the elevation 
because the recorder records the distance first. 

The recorder must keep tab on the bench marks 
which were located by the party running the primary 
levels. He must have his H. I.s computed so he can 
check his elevation at once with each bench mark. 



He should also adjust his H. I. as indicated above 
without causing any delay in the cross sectioning - . 

Horizontal Measurements 21473 

Probably more poor work in surveying has resulted 
from careless measurements in cross sectioning than 
from any other cause. In all lateral measurements, 
the tape must be held absolutely horizontal and where 
necessary the "chain" should be "broken" frequently. 
It will be remembered that when the distances are 
platted on paper, the measurements are horizontal 
and even though the later measurements taken in set- 
ting the slope stakes from the table are taken on the 
same slope as the original ones, the location of the 
stakes are still in error. Without a doubt a great 
many of the steep slopes found on some jobs are due 
to this carelessness and the fact that the so-called 
"slope stake table" is used in the field does not remedy 
the situation. Even when slope stakes are set with 
the instrument, the yardage will still be in error as 
the section platted and planemetered was in the 
wrong position on the paper. 

Sections of Grades 21474 

On steep side hills and where the new road is on 
a heavy grade, especial care should be used that the 
measurements are taken at right angles to the center 
line. It is obvious that if this is not done a second 
section taken on a perpendicular line or on one differ- 
ent than the original will produce a decidedly different 
section on the paper and erroneous yardage computa- 
tions will result. In such situations two stakes should 
be left, one marking each end of the cross section 
taken. One should be marked with the station number 
and the other simply "reference stake." 

If these two points in regard to cross sectioning are 
carefully observed and followed consistently, it will be 
found that the accuracy of the yardage computations 
will be improved materially. 

Summary 21475 

With the completion of the cross sectioning opera- 
tion, the notes should show all the information neces- 
sary for the complete design of the project. It must 
be remembered that every decision possible is to be 
made in the field and before leaving the ground, the 
Chief of Party must have a very definite idea as to 
how the project is to be built. He should realize, how- 



ever, that his decision may not be final and must have 
in his notebook the information to support his own 
recommendations and to make possible any modifica- 
tions which the Division Engineer may think advis- 
able. It is far better to err on the side of being too 
thorough than to bring in a survey that is incomplete 
and inaccurate. 

The question of right of way should be considered 
by the surveyor from four different angles: 

(1) From the standpoint of the man in the field pur- 
chasing the right of way and determining the amount 
of damages. 

(2) Prom the standpoint of the accountant in mak- 
ing proper records and payments. 

(3) From the standpoint of the construction depart- 

(4) From the standpoint of the county attempting in 
the future to establish title to the right of way. 

Right of Way Maps 21482 

Master Plat 214821 

A large map will be prepared of the same size as 
the federal plans. On short lines the scale ought to 
be about four inches to the mile, but it should never 
be so small that all the necessary features cannot be 
shown in detail. Additional sheets may be necessary. 
The information to be shown will be found tabulated 
under "right of way notes." The surveyor should de- 
termine as accurately as possible the field boundary 
and property lines; should study the method of work- 
ing the farms, the character of the land crossed, and 
the general effect of the change in alignment. Build- 
ings, wells, and other features must be carefully lo- 
cated and enough information secured to write a god 
description of the land crossed. One section or quar- 
ter-section corner should be located near enough to 
each parcel of land that the description may be tied 
to it. It is not necessary to establish corners or to 
do any land surveying, for "accepted corners" are suf- 
ficient for the purpose The information secured must 
be checked up againbt the records in the Register of 
Deeds office and every effort made to have the map 
complete and accurate when taken into the field to 



General Considerations 



purchase right of way. It should be possible to write 
up the options or agreements from this information in 
the office. 

Individual Plat 214822 

In addition to the so-called master plat, small indi- 
vidual plats will be prepared for each parcel on sheets 
Sy 2 inches wide and preferably 14 inches long al- 
though the length is not so essential. These should 
show all the detail necessary and will be filed with 
the final easement or release of damage with the 
Register of Deeds. 

The surveyor must try to look at the situation from 
the standpoint of the farmer and realize that he is 
entitled to reimbursement if his property is damaged 
or he is inconvenienced by the change of alignment. 
He should make every effort to secure all the informa- 
tion necessary for proper estimate of the damage in- 
volved. While the law does not allow the assessment 
of benefits, this feature may be often discussed ad- 
vantageously with the farmer and his neighbors. 


During the progress of the work, the surveyor must 
be making a careful study of the soil conditions sur- 
rounding the project with the object in mind of mak- 
ing an accurate classification of the yardage quan- 
tities. He should study the material in the banks and 
decide upon the slope to be used in the cross section. 

Classification of Materials 21491 

A knowledge of the geology of his district is abso- 
lutely essential to the highway engineer. This does 
not mean that he must have a general training in 
structural geology, but he should be able to deter- 
mine closely what the cuts are going to look like 
when opened up. Every individual cut will be con- 
sidered and in rocky country this is very important. 
A little experience on construction work will show 
that under similar conditions, the ground lies very 
much the same. The steepness of the bank, for in- 
stance, is a very good criterion and on steep slopes, 
rock or loose rock may ordinarily be expected. The 
outcrop in the old road or on the other side of the 
valley should be examined and elevations noted. The 
pick and shovel may be used freely and test nits 
opened up where necessary, and unless the surveyor 



feels sure that rock or loose rock will not be encoun- 
tered, test pitting- should always be resorted to. In 
light soils the earth auger may be used to good ad- 
vantage. This is probably the most important phase 
of the preliminary work and all employees of the de- 
partment must study very carefully every construc- 
tion job which they drive over and especially the ones 
which they survey. They should talk with the con- 
tractor, inspector, and the assistant Engineer} in 
charge and try to determine the reasons why in some 
places the yardage does not work out as planned. 
Quite frequently this is found to be due to the fact 
that the material is not the same as assumed at the 
time of the survey and that rock slopes have been 
used in cuts where dirt slopes were figured or vice 

This feature cannot be emphasized too strongly and 
the experience of having" large rock cuts appear in 
jobs where they were not expected must not be re- 
peated. The necessity of making heavy rock cuts 
frequently determines the entire location of the road. 


Necessity for Uniformity 2151 
The notebook is the final test of an engineer's abil- 
ity. It has been said "The evil that men do lives 
after them; the good is oft interred with their bones." 
This is especially true of an engineer's notes and it is 
very difficult to live down a reputation for careless 
and incomplete notes. 

No effort has been made to explain how to keep 
notes; each man may work out his own methods, but 
the results secured must be uniform. If it were pos- 
sible for everyone to work u*p his own notebook, this 
would not be so necessary, but as this cannot be done, 
the notes should be taken in such form that they are 
readily understood by anyone in the department. An 
effort will be made to standardize the notes used and 
to tabulate the character of the information neces- 
sary, also to show by specimen sheets how this should 
be recorded. 

Abbreviations 2152 

The following abbreviations are adopted as stand- 
ard and will be used by all surveyors: 

N. B Notebook number. 

T Township. 

R- Range. 


Abbreviations — con. 

S Section. 

E. , W., N. E., N. W. ..Points of compass. 
T. L Transit line. 

C. L Center line. 

R Right. 

L Left. 

P. C Point of curve. 

P. T Point of tangent. 

P. I Point of intersection. 

Ref. X Reference stake. 

Sta Station. 

Stk. or X Stake. 

Sec. C Section corner. 

T. P Turning- point. 

B. M Bench mark. 

H. I Height of instrument. 

Disc Discharge. 

* Inl Inlet. 

F. S Foot of slope. 

T. B Top bank. 

D , Ditch. 

G. P Grade point. 

C. I. P Cast iron pipe. 

Corr. I. P Corrugated iron pipe. 

E. W End wall. 

X Sec Cross section. 

F Fence. 

L. F Line fence. 

E. F End of fence. 

B. F Beginning of fence. 

P. L Property line. 

R. F Right fence. 

L. F Left fence. 

F. C Fence corner. 

Ho House. 

Bn Barn. 

XR Cross road. 

P. R Public road. 

P. D Private drive. 

P. E Private entrance. 

F. E Field entrance. 

T. P.. Telephone pole. 

P. P Power pole. 

Tr Tree. 

C. X. W Concrete cross walk. 

C. S. W Concrete side walk. 

S. W. I Storm water inlet. 

C. & G Curb and gutter. 

T. C Top of curb. 



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Abbreviations — con. 

B. C 

F. L 

Back of curb. 
Flow line. 

Arrangement of the Book 


All the notes for the survey should be in the same 
book unless more than one book is necessary. Any 
remaining- blank pages will not be used until the con- 
struction is entirely completed and there is no pos- 
sibility of the notes being" used again. On Federal 
Surveys no additional notes should be placed in them. 

On the front page of the book, opposite the fly leaf, 
should appear the name and number of the survey. 
Certain information of a very general nature will be 
given here, such as the detailed description of the 
survey, the names of the members of the party, the 
notebooks used, .dates, and the initials of the field 
computation checkers. 

On the back of this title page the index will be 
placed. The first book should contain a complete 
index for all the books, but the index in each of the 
others need include only the information in that par- 
ticular book. 

Page 3 may well be a time book page and the time 
of each member of the party kept, in hours with the 
proper distribution. 

The next two pages should be reserved for bench 
mark elevations and descriptions. 

On the next and succeeding page will appear addi- 
tional information of a general nature for which there 
was no room on the title page. This should include: 

1. The weather. 

2. Funds available. 

3. Condition of the road and condition of the sur- 
facing at the time of the survey. 

4. Type of construction for which the survey was 

5. Section to be used. 

6. Tabulation of the results of the traffic census. 

7. Any other additional information. 
Following this, or on pages reserved in the back of 

the book, should be a summary of the entire situation, 
written up by the Chief of Party with such sketches 
as are necessary to show the conditions and the rela- 
tion of the various lines. He should give his reasons 
for the procedure adopted, the explanation of why cer- 
tain things were not done, a summary of the various 
lines investigated, the reasons why they were not 
surveyed, a memorandum as to which lines are to be 


worked up, and in fact, his recommendations in detail 
for the computation of the entire plan. It is obvious 
from the above that about eight or ten pages must be 
reserved in the front of the book. Curve notes will 
necessarily come at the end with the first curve on 
the last page. 

The method of recording- the results of a situation 
survey covering- possible relocations is indicated 

Notes on Situation Survey 21531 

Notes on Preliminary Investigation 
Lancaster-Cassville Road 
September, 1920. 

The following notes constitute a report on the pre- 
liminary investigation of the location of Federal Aid 
Project No. 936, Lancaster-Cassville Road, Grant 
County. In order to save duplication, the notes do not 
include the location which the surveyor was instructed 
to run in the field, but are meant to discuss those lo- 
cations which were investigated but which are not to 
be incorporated in the original survey. In most cases 
the locations mentioned were not considered justifiable 
in view of the relative unimportance of this particular 
trunk highway No. 105. 

Should this highway ever come up for consideration' 
for permanent improvement as a main traveled artery, 
all of the points mentioned below should receive due 

Mile No. 1 (From Cassville). 

Possibility of deflecting to west at Station 9 and fol- 
lowing east side of valley, strike present road near 
Station 42. Rock work involved to some extent. 

Mile No. 2. 

Possibility of continuing present relocation, cross- 
ing old road at Station 75A, toward Johnson House. 
Thence, turning south along ridge until side road is 
reached, drop down east side of draw, behind school 
house on an even grade to Station 130. 

Mile No. 3. 

Following was considered: Continue proposed relo- 
cation under Mile 2, across old road, turn south to pass 
between Emerson house and barn, and strike across 
bottom to Station 151. Decided to stay in front of 

Reason for not "opening up" corner near Station 151 
more with the adopted relocation was that a drop of 
16V 2 feet exists in the first 100 feet due north from 



Mile No. 4. 

In addition to the relocation adopted the following 
possibilities exist: 

1. An easterly bearing valley striking old road near 
Station 161. 

2. A similar valley coming in near Station 169. 
Both of these afford good grades. The idea would 

be to gain the top of the ridge and then swing south- 
westerly, coming in at Station 20350 on the side road. 
Both would involve considerable easting and neither 
are considered justifiable in view of the solution 
adopted by the survey. 
Mile No. 5. 

If the character of the proposed work had allowed, 
the following relocation would have been made and 
joined into that which began at Station 237. 

Coming into old road after cutting corner at Sta- 
tion 20595, cross it, and turning south, drop down east 
side of valley, behind old road in front of school, 
near Station 234. 

Alignment Notes 2154 
The alignment notes should show: 

1. The transit line, stations and angles. 

2. Reference stakes and hubs as left. 

3. Ties to section corners. 

4. Reference marks of all kinds. 

5. Curve data. 

6. Magnetic bearings. 

Topographic Notes 2155 
The topographic notes will show: 

1. Location of buildings. 

2. Location of all drainage structures. 
^3. Private and field entrances. 

4. Angle of streams and direction of flow. 

5. Angle of railroad crossings. 

6. Side walks. 

7. Tiling in place. 

8. Watering troughs. 

9. Section corners. 

10. Location of necessary clearing and grubbing. 

11. Road intersections. 

12. Guard fence. 

13. Pole lines with name of owners. 

14. Mile posts. 

15. Stream and marsh boundaries. 

16. Mail boxes and route numbers. 

17. Trees within right of way to be preserved. 

18. Railroads and streams adjacent to right of way. 

19. Topographic maps at bad situations. 




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Spaci men Topographic Nota 5 for Country Road 


Drainage Notes 2156 
The drainage notes will show: 

(1) A detailed sketch with the angle of the stream 
crossings and all necessary information which will 
affect the design of the road or structure at that point 
recorded in the shape of a topographic map. 

(2) Proposed channel changes worked out in detail, 
and referenced to line. 

(3) Direction of all drainage by arrows, especially 
at cross roads and points where culverts seem nec- 

(4) Detailed description of structures in place. 

(5) Inlet and outlet elevations with shots in the 
field to show possible discharge. These must be taken 
in such a way that they will indicate that the uphill 
side of the road will be drained properly and that the 
water will get away from the highway quickly. The 
question of head room should be settled definitely in 
the field if possible. 

(6) Structure recommended at the point. 

(7) Soundings. 

Cross Section Notes 2157 
See specimen pages for arrangement. 

Right of Way Notes 2158 

The large scale map prepared in the office should be 
used for recording the right of way information. This 
will be inked in and traced later. 

Right of way notes will show: 

(1) Location of boundary lines. 

(2) Property owners' full names. 

(3) Location of buildings. 

(4) Boundaries of fields. 

(5) Classification of lands through which survey 

(6) Area of land cut off. 

(7) Area remaining in farm. 

(8) Location of water affecting pasture rights. 

(9) Stations and pluses of property lines. 

(10) Complete table of property owners and area 
required of each. 

(11) Names of owners whose lands encroach on 
highway and area of such encroachment. 

At the same time, the information should be secured 
for the individual plats. They will indicate: 

(1) Right of way to be purchased with the area in 


(2) Legal description of the same. 

(3) Ties to at least one monument. 

(4) Net length of center line across the property. 
The amount of fencing- should be carefully noted in 

the field book, but will not be shown on the plats as 
it often places the right of way man at a disadvan- 

Soil and Material Notes 2159 

The notebook must show correctly: 

(1) The character of the soil at all points on the 

(2) Careful classification of materials showing lo- 
cation of earth, loose rock, hardpan and rock. 

(3) Available materials for construction, stone quar- 
ries and gravel pits with distances and character of 
road to be traveled over. Often a pit or quarry is lo- 
cated in this manner, which is not known to county 
authorities or division engineers. 


When the highway engineer is not confined to the 
limits of an old road and is free to locate in the most 
advantageous manner, he may follow much more 
closely the method of procedure worked out through 
years of experience by the railroads. 

Definition of Terms 221 

Road surveys may be divided into preliminaries, new 
locations or relocations, and old road surveys. 

Preliminary surveys are lines run to secure all data 
necessary, to determine which one of the routes se- 
lected on the reconnaissance is the most feasible, all 
things considered, and to determine the approximate 
cost of construction. 

From the standpoint of terminology, the word "re- 
location" has been used very loosely and gradually 
has come to include everything from slight changes 
a few hundred feet in length to complete new loca- 
tions in undeveloped country. The dividing line be- 
tween new locations and relocations may be rather 
indistinct, but it would seem that the final status of 
the old road were the determining factor. If the old 
road cannot be abandoned or if there is none to begin 
with, it is proper to speak of the survey as a new loca- 
tion. When the old road is actually abandoned as a 
public highway and the location is changed or moved. 



it is better to speak of the new line as a relocation. 
It should be noted that the survey is made of the situ- 
ation as it exists on the ground. The layout or loca- 
tion of state trunk or county trunk highways on cer- 
tain existing or non-existing roads is another matter 

The old road survey is a combination of the pre- 
liminary and lbcation survey which is peculiar to 
highway engineering. 

Preliminary Investigations 222 

By far the most important step in a survey of this 
type is a thorough preliminary investigation including 
a study of the character of the road under construc- 
tion, the purpose which it serves from the standpoint 
of both through and local traffic, and a comprehensive 
study of the topography of the area. These matters 
have been thoroughly covered elsewhere and will not 
be discussed further here. 

This investigation will be made by the Division 
Engineer of Surveys accompanied by the Chief of 
Party who should feel free to make such suggestions 
as he sees fit. While the general plan to be followed 
ought to be outlined carefully by the Engineer of Sur- 
veys, the Chief of Party must be given leeway to make 
changes if, in his judgment, the original plan seems 
inadvisable in some respects. 

Preliminary Surveys 223 

The advantag-es of preliminary surveys and paper 
locations have not been given the consideration that 
they should in highway work. The practice has been 
to select the final location of the line by a more or less 
careful investigation, then to run a complete location 
survey. The result has been that expensive adjust- 
ments and resurveys have been necessary in many 

In the future, the policy of surveying preliminary 
lines to be plotted up in the field and adjusted at the 
time will be followed more generally. In most cases, 
it will be found possible to limit the number of these 
preliminaries to about two or three and the location 
survey to one final line. 

Method of Procedure 2231 

The method of procedure on preliminaries has been 
written up in detail by many different authors of 
railway engineering handbooks and will not be re- 



peated here. It should be sufficient to say that a 
traverse and profile is run and sufficient topog- 
raphy taken to form a base for the paper location 
of the line. This topography may be taken in the 
standard method from the base line or by transit and 
stadia. This is especially important in rough and 
broken country. It is hoped that in difficult situa- 
tions, some of the time of the surveying party may 
be saved by the development of this method in high- 
way work and surveyors are urged to study the text 
books on railroad location and especially the field 
engineering manuals and to attempt to adapt the 
methods outlined to their work. 

In heavy timber it will be necessary to use a pocket 
compass and perhaps run random lines through the 
woods. These random lines will ordinarily be run 
between section corners or other fixed points. The 
distance that the line misses the point is measured 
and the stakes set back on the line between by pro- 
rating the distances for each stake. 

Location Surveys 224 

In lev # el or gently rolling country where the align- 
ment is good and the grading straight cut and fill 
work, there is no essential difference between a new 
location and an old road survey as the preliminaries 
are generally unnecessary. As the difference between 
new locations and relocations is one of terminology 
only, the term "new location" will be applied to all 
location surveys that are not confined to an old road. 
Obviously, all relocations are new locations although 
the reverse is not true. 

New locations fall naturally into six classes: 

1. Locations for betterment of grade. 

2. Locations for improved alignment. 

3. Locations to shorten distance. 

4. Locations to secure better drainage. 

5. Locations to improve maintenance conditions. 

6. Locations to eliminate certain features that 
make construction especially expensive. 

In so far as the procedure to be followed in survey- 
ing is concerned, a survey falling into any of the last 
five classes is a special case and the method to be em- 
ployed depends upon the conditions obtaining. With 
surveys in any of these classes, the new center line 
will be fairly definitely fixed. The subject of locations 
is such a broad one that three out of any five in the 
state as a whole resolve themselves into special cases 
which must be attacked by special methods. About 
the only generalizations of methods that can be made 


are of those used in surveying- a side hill line, such 
as nine out of every ten new locations in the western 
half of the state resolve themselves into. 

On railroad work the practice has been to make a 
topographic map, select the maximum grade, decide 
on a summit cut, and then locate the grade contour 
on paper by stepping off the stations with a pair of 
dividers. In highway surveying a method has been 
developed which substitutes for the paper location a 
grade contour actually located on the ground. There 
are a great many features of the railway method which 
could be used under certain conditions in highway 

Grade Contours 224.01 

The so-called grade contour is a line on which any 
two points differ in elevation by an amount such that 
when that difference is divided by the distance be- 
tween them measured along the line, a constant gra- 
dient will result. In other words, the difference in 
elevation between two points on a 6 per cent grade 
contour will, when divided by the difference between 
them, give 6 per cent. 

Once the lay of the ground has been studied, one or 
more general locations will present themselves. In 
order to get a comparative idea in those cases where 
there is more than one solution, a "grade contour" 
should be run over each route. In order to do this 
with the minimum of "cut and try," the surveyor must 
have determined by a profile of the old road, what 
total change in elevation he has to contend with. 
Having decided on his limiting points, it should be 
easy to determine the change to be figured on. It 
would be well to mention at this juncture that these 
notes are intended to deal with the relocation of a 
single objectionable grade, but where the surveyor 
is confronted by a series of hills, the same general 
principles will apply, except that considerable "jug- 
gling" will often be necessary in order to connect the 
termini of the individual locations. It should not be 
hard to make a fair guess as to the length of the pro- 
posed line, and that distance, in connection with the 
change in elevation, will furnish the approximate 
grade which can be expected. It then remains to 
actually produce upon the ground a line of that grade 
per cent. 

It will usually be most advantageous to run all 
grade contours from the top of the hill downward. 
Probably the most convenient way to do the work 



is as follows: The surveyor and two, or preferably 
three assistants are required. The man with the 
hand level stations himself about halfway between 
the beginning of the grade contour line and the first 
100 foot station and in such a position as to obtain a 
rather low- reading" on the rod held at the point of 
beginning. He then takes a reading with a Locke 
level to the nearest 0.1 foot. . The rodman then moves 
down the hill carrying the zero end of the 100-foot 
tape, the rod, and a few stakes. The chainman, with 
the reserve supply of stakes and a hand axe, holds 
the other end of the tape at the point last sighted. 
When the rodman arrives at a point 100 feet from 
the one last sighted, the surveyor, who has retained 
his original position, motions him up or down the 
slope until he has a foresight rod reading which dif- 
fers from his backsight by the per cent of grade 
being run. When this point has been established, the 
surveyor then moves to a position between the next 
two points, while the rodman sticks a stake into the 
ground at the foot of his rod, leaving it to be driven 
more firmly by the chainman, when the latter arrives 
at the point. The process is repeated for every suc- 
cessive pair of points exactly as for the first two, 
and the result will be a continuous line of stakes, 
showing the position on the ground of a natural 
grade of the desired per cent. Ordinarily it is the 
best practice to disregard alignment entirely in set- 
ting the grade contour points, driving the stakes ex- 
actly where they fall, irrespective of the general 
trend of the line. Such a line furnishes a more satis- 
factory control for the subsequent transit line. When 
deep V-shaped gullies or sharp points are encoun- 
tered, where only one stake is affected and that to 
a marked degree, it is permissible to roughly "bal- 
ance" the line by omitting the stake in the gully or 
on the point entirely, setting the one next above or 
next below enough higher or lower than the eleva- 
tion of the grade contour to furnish material for the 
fill or to provide a place for the dirt from the cut. 
Where there are sharp curves in the grade contour, 
the grade should be reduced as a compensation for 
curvature. It is best to set stakes every 100 feet in 
most cases, but on a very uniform side-hill, where 
successive grade contour points "line up" reasonably 
well, stakes every 200, 300, or even 500 feet might 
furnish sufficient control. In some instances, the 
surveyor will want to set his grade contour stakes 
closer than 100 feet, over at least a part of the line. 


This is especially true in very rough side-hill coun- 
try. Where three assistants are available instead of 
two, the third man can be employed to advantage as 
a stake and axeman. When all of the desired grade 
contours have been run, it should not be difficult for 
the surveyor to choose between them and to decide 
which line or lines ought to be surveyed. After 
reaching that decision, he is ready to begin the me- 
chanical work of the survey. 

Transit Line 224.02 

If a traverse of the old road has been run, the first 
step of importance, in surveying the new location, 
is to "tie on" to the old road traverse, reading the 
angle between the new and the old lines and noting 
accurately the station number and plus at which the 
new location leaves the original traverse. This is of 
utmost importance. If merely a profile has been run 
on the old road, without actually traversing it, a 
good sketch should be drawn showing the layout. 

As the transit line is run on the new location, con- 
siderable judgment will need to be exercised in plac- 
ing it with reference to the grade contour line. In 
uniform side-hill or gently sloping ground, the tran- 
sit line may be "averaged" through the grade con- 
tour points in a series of tangents, each several sta- 
tions in length. In rugged country, however, the best 
practice demands that angle points be made every one 
or two stations, if necessary, in order to follow the 
contour very closely. This furnishes "good "control" 
for a paper location in the office which usually gives 
a better ultimate result than can be obtained if an 
attempt is made to run a final centerline in the field 
with the grade contour line as a guide. If the con- 
ditions are such that it becomes possible to run an 
"average" tangent through a number of grade con- 
tour points, the instrument man must remember that 
if he allows his tangent to fall below the grade con- 
tour, at that point he will have a fill on his center- 
line for which he must obtain material by going 
above the grade contour a corresponding amount at 
another point, thus throwing his centerline into cut. 

There may be, and usually are, other variations 
from the grade contour which it is necessary to make 
when the transit line is run, in addition to those 
which are desirable from the standpoint of alignment. 
There may be a spring, a ledge of rock, or some 
other feature encountered on the line which would 



make construction exceedingly difficult or expensive. 
Such conditions will make it necessary to flatten out 
or steepen the gradient over certain portions of the 
work, as the transit line progresses, varying- from 
the grade contour as occasion requires. Very fre- 
quently, though, it will be necessary to run correc- 
tions, to the grade contour with a hand level, setting 
certain contour stakes further up or down the slope 
by constantly varying differences in elevation. 

Perhaps as the transit line is run, it will appear to 
be advisable to change the grade contour line entirely 
by moving it up or down the hill by a constant ele- 
vation or by changing the per cent of grade alto- 
gether. In the latter case, it will not be necessary to 
re-run the entire line, but the change can be easily 
effected in the following manner: Suppose that it is 
desired to change the first 1600 feet of a six per cent 
grade contour to a 5y 2 per cent. Stake No. 1, 100 
feet from the starting point, would be moved up the 
slope 0.5 of a foot in elevation, stake No. 2 would be 
brought up to a point 1.0 foot higher, and so on 
until stake No. 16 had been raised to a point 8.0 feet 

Detailed Procedure 224.03 

All of the detailed procedure outlined under old 
road surveys will be followed on new locations where 
it is applicable. The "referencing in" of hubs and 
the junction of lines is especially important. When 
both old road traverse and new locations are run, 
the approved practice is to add the subscript A to the 
stake numbers on the old road, to use an unlettered 
line for that relocation which seems to be most likely 
to be used, and to use subscripts B, C, D., etc., for all 
other locations between the same or similar points. 

At the end of the new location the transit line must 
be closed on to the old road traverse and the closing 
angle and station number with checks carefully read 
and recorded in the same manner as at the point of 
beginning. Before leaving the job the surveyor should 
add up the interior angles in the polygon thus formed 
in order to assure a good angular closure. The sum 
of the interior angles of any such polygon will be 
given, if all the angles and computations are correct, 
by the following expression — (2n-4)90, where "n" is 
the number of sides in the polygon. 


Stakes 224.04 

On new locations the stakes will be left on the 
transit lines except in those cases where it is known 
that the work will not be staked out by an engineer 
previous to construction. In case it is decided to set 
over the stakes, they should be moved to the uphill 
side and outside the slope lines. Additional stakes 
will be left on the transit line and marked "TL" to 
distinguish them from reference stakes. It is useless, 
to leave stakes in open fields, and the P. I.'s must be 
carefully referenced in and markers left at the fences 
to re-establish the line. 

Old Roads 224.05 

A considerable amount of time is frequently wasted 
in making complete surveys of the old road when it 
is quite obvious that no work will be done on it. In 
most cases a mere traverse and profile is sufficient 
and quite frequently where there is no relation what- 
ever between the old road and the new line, it can 
be omitted entirely. 

Topography 224.06 

The Chief of Party will do well to keep ahead of 
the party as the line is run in on new locations, in 
the same manner as on old road surveys. In fact the 
duties of all the members of the party are essentially 
the same as previously described. 

The measuring and sketching in of the cultural and 
topographic features should be done more carefully, 
even, on new location surveys than elsewhere, because 
one cannot be sure that during the paper location in 
the office, the computer will not inadvertently shift 
his centerline to an inadvisable position which may 
not be apparent to him even from the cross-sections. 
Some of the features which must be noted and care- 
fully referred to the transit line are tabulated below: 

Rock noses and ledges. 


Fences and fence corners. 

Edges of wooded areas. 


Wells and cisterns. 

Streams and dry runs. 

Limits of fields, pastures, wood lots, gardens and 
grounds surrounding buildings. 

Care must be taken to show the exact trend of all 
streams, dry runs, and other features which will re- 



quire drainage structures for at least 100 feet on 
each side of the transit line, for if the final center- 
line should fall at a considerable distance from the 
transit line, the designer will want to know just where 
the drainage structure will need to fall, and what the 
angle of skew will be, if any. In the case of intri- 
cate valley or stream crossings, angle and stadia 
shots, referred to a given station on the transit line 
will be found to be extremely useful. 

Fences should be shown carefully in their relation- 
ship to the transit line, and those which are north- 
south or east-west will be so noted, together with the 
line which they mark in the section as — "E-W fence, 
40 rods south of quarter line." It may not be possible 
to give them such a complete designation in the field, 
but the surveyor should take steps to identify the 
various lines as soon as he has access to a good plat 
book. v # 

Ordinarily the sketching and recording of the in- 
formation to be gathered in connection with the tran- 
sit line can be done by the Chief as the line is run, 
for there is usually not so much cultural and topo- 
graphic detail that he cannot attend to that work and 
to the selection of foresights for the instrument man 
at the same time. This is especially advantageous 
if the stakes are to be left on the transit line where 
they are originally driven, for by taking a little ad- 
ditional time in using the chainman to get cross meas- 
urements, to drive the stakes more solidly and so on, 
it will be possible to save one trip for the entire party 
over the line. 

Bench Levels 224.07 

As a rule bench levels should be run over new loca- 
tions the same as on an old road survey. If prelimi- 
nary lines have been carefully blazed, it may be pos- 
sible to follow much the same procedure, although at 
times some ingenuity will be necessary in organizing 
the parties. Where there is an old road survey or 
other parallel locations, a single line of bench levels 
will often serve as control for the various lines! 

Drainag-e 224.08 

Location of drainage structures must be studied 
much more carefully than on old road surveys, and 
it should be remembered that in timbered country 
there is every reason to believe that the run off will 
be increased after the timber is cut. 


Cross Sections 224.09 

Cross sections are run in exactly the same manner 
as on old road surveys. It is not usually necessary, 
though, to take the shots as close together across 
the section because the "run of the ground" will or- 
dinarily be more uniform. Sections at plus stations, 
too, will not be so frequent as they are in old road 
work, but these extra sections should by no means 
be neglected where they are necessary. 

All horizontal measurements will be referred to the 
stake on the center line, and, since most sections will 
fall both to the right and to the left, care must be 
taken to denote clearly on which side each point falls. 
This is accomplished most easily by marking the first 
two or three readings on each side with an "R" or 
an "L" and by separating the two sides of the sec- 
tions by a vertical line. The datum for the levels on 
the new lines must, of course, be the same as used 
on the old road. The notes should show just what 
points were sighted in arriving at the first H. I. The 
most important point to be remembered is to take 
cross sections wide enough to embrace the new loca- 
tion if it becomes necessary to depart from the tran- 
sit line during the course of the design. 

The surveyor must anticipate the various conditions 
which will contribute to the location of the new cen- 
terline on paper and he must have cross sections wide 
enough to provide for such studies within the limits 
of reason. In connection with running the cross sec- 
tions, the instrument man will want to take a good 
many shots on other points which will be of use in 
the computation of the work. For instance, if the 
line follows a side hill at only a slight elevation 
above the valley floor, the surveyor will take shots 
indicating the lowest elevation at which culvert dis- 
charges can be placed. Many other points can be 
picked up, if the man at the instrument is on the 
alert and thoroughly awake to the requirements of a 
complete set of field notes. 

Right of Way Information 224.10 

The information required for the right of way 
sketches has been summarized in detail elsewhere. 
Property owners' names and fences must be shown 
completely and correctly, and a sketch of the entire 
job made on one double page of the notebook show- 
ing each forty along the route and just how each 
farm is affected will be found invaluable. Timber 



land, tilled land, and pasture land should be distin- 
guished one from another. 

Classification of Excavation 224.11 

Because of the fact that the ground is usually un- 
disturbed on relocations, it is exceedingly difficult to 
give any idea of what may be expected in the way of 
the classification of the material to be excavated. On 
old roads there are cuts which can be examined and 
several other easy means of investigation which' aid 
the surveyor in this work. On new locations he will 
have to conscientiously look for the desired informa- 
tion because little will present itself of its own ac- 
cord. It will generally be necessary to sound with 
a rod or auger at various places along the cross sec- 
tions, frequently resorting to test pitting. Features 
which aid in this work are wells and cisterns, build- 
ing excavations, and cuts along streams, railroads, 
and public roads. 

Summary 225 

In general, it will be found that the surveyor who 
makes new locations must at all times be awake, on 
the job, and well informed as to the requirement of 
his work. Tact, patience, and diplomacy in dealing 
with the public are invaluable aids to the successful 
progress of the location. 

Definition 231 

In differentiating between new lines and re-sur- 
veys, anything in the nature of modifications or al- 
terations which does not add to the length of the 
survey as established should be considered as re-sur- 
vey. Field work made necessary by changes in align- 
ment to eliminate curvature, grades or yardage, 
lengthening cross sections, additional cross sections, 
cross sectioning of old road where a traverse only 
has been made, running in omitted curves, the secur- 
ing of additional information in regard to drainage 
areas or drainage structures, and in fact anything 
in the nature of omissions or corrections should be 
charged to re-surveys. 

It should be obvious from the above that the pur- 
pose of this classification is to show the division en- 
gineer what the cost of the alterations in the original 
survey has been. A study of this information will 


undoubtedly show where changes in the method of 
procedure can be made to advantage in future work 
and will emphasize the importance of investigation 
at all stages. 

Causes for Re-Surveys 232 

Re-surveys are generally made necessary by the 
fact that the original investigations were not thor- 
ough and that the situation was not studied carefully 
enough in detail in advance. The practice of send- 
ing a party into the field a second time to secure 
additional information or make alterations in the 
lines is always much more expensive than if the work 
were done at the time of the original survey. A def- 
inite and final location should always be decided upon 
if possible before the party leaves the field. It is 
true that often new conditions arise that make 
changes necessary and desirable, and under such cir- 
cumstances the additional survey work should always 
be performed, even though the job may be under con- 

Procedure 233 

The method of procedure is, of course, the same as 
in any survey, but special emphasis should be placed 
on the method of making the ties between the various 
lines. Both the old and the new notebooks should be 
carefully indexed. The notes should show distinctly 
what was actually done and old and new stakes 
plainly indicated. Where tangents are to be pro- 
duced, special care is necessary to observe the prin- 
ciples of elementary surveying. If new stakes are 
set, they should be marked with a different letter of 
the alphabet than any other used on the survey. If 
it is obvious that the old line is to be abandoned, 
enough of the old stakes ought to be removed to pre 
vent confusion in staking it. 

Equations 2331 

The chaining must be continuous from the begin- 
ning of the survey, and the equation should come at 
the end of the new line most distant from the zero 
point. To illustrate: If another line is to be staked 
out which is 100 feet shorter than the old between 
station 10 and station 15, the equation should be at 
station 15 of the old survey and will read: 14A equals 
15, and must not be placed at station 10 with an equa- 
tion reading station 10 equals station 11A. Every ef- 



fort will be made to keep the number of equations 
at a minimum, even though this involves re-staking 
and re-surveying a few hundred feet of the old line 
to eliminate it from the plans. Where possible, there 
should be but one equation for each alternate route. 
At the junction the stakes must be plainly marked 
and the equation shown. As this junction will quite 
frequently be a stake which is also a P. I., additional 
reference or guard stakes should be left if necessary. 

Elevations 2332 

With changes of any considerable length eleva- 
tions should start at a Bench Mark and be closed on 
another. The closure will be carefully figured at the 

Right-of-Way Information • 2333 

Field work in connection with right-of-way plats 
must not be confused with re-surveys. All work of 
this character is a charge to the right-of-way account. 

Bridge surveys may be divided into those which are 
part of a road project and those which are isolated, 
the procedure being somewhat different in each case. 
All surveys must describe the bridge by name and 
locate it by county, section, town, and range. If there 
is no neighborhood name for the bridge, call it by 
the name of the nearest farmer. Information secured 
in the field should be entered upon the bridge report 

Existing Structures 24.02 

Describe the existing structures as a wooden pile 
trestle, combination truss, steel truss, plate girder, I- 
beam span, or concrete slab, on wooden or steel piles, 
concrete or stone abutments or steel tubes as the 
case may be. The important thing is to give the 
span and area of opening. It is rare that old abut- 
ments can be used for new work and when they can 
they must be very good indeed. Usually very little 
old material can be used, this being principally stone 
for rip rap. If the superstructure, however, can be 
moved to another site and used, this should be noted. 





Typjcal Location Sketch 

Old B rdfe? 

r rle*v 60'Tru#5 rt 


7 \ j\ Ol4 «+ructure »b»»on clotted 

t-Nauv ChonrTol-"*\Kou> « full 
\P1o.e» top of concrete floor 
; o* neu) bnd^e on oame 
devotion a* nail in b tax- 
ed tree A. 

Typical Report for _a Pin Cohri£CT£D Tro6s 




£5*10** or» accurate okctch of Floorbeam connection.) 



Strength of Old Bridges 24.03 

Surveyors are often asked to measure up old steel 
bridges to determine their strength. While it rarely 
occurs that such bridges are of sufficient strength to 
carry a concrete floor with the proper margin of safe- 
ty, a few have been found and measurements should 
be taken if requested. For bridges of this kind, the 
building of a two by four inch timber floor with bi- 
tuminous wearing surface is advised. 

Measure all metal in inches and fractions to the 
nearest 1-16 inch using calipers. Count the rivets and 
determine the size by the following formula: d equals 
(a — .125 inches)/1.5 in which d equals diameter of 
the rivet in inches and a equals diameter of the full 
driven head in inches. Where bolts are used in the 
field splice, they should be counted and measured ac- 
curately. The rivets and bolts are usually of the same 
size. An accurate sketch of the floor system and the 
floor beam connections must be shown, also the diam- 
eter of the pins, the thickness of pin plates, and the 
number of them. 

I-beam bridges in place may often be strengthened 
sufficiently by additional beams. A good rule to de- 
termine the number required to carry concrete floor 
with the proper factor of safety is indicated below: 

To illustrate the use of tables I and II, we will 
assume that an old bridge has six 8-inch I-beams and 
two 8-inch channels. The roadway is 16 feet and the 
length of beams 14 feet. How many beams must be 
added to carry a concrete floor? Prom table No. I 
six 8-inch I-beams and two 8-inch channels have a 
total section modulus of 101.4. From table No. II, a 
14-foot span 16-foot roadway with a concrete floor 
will require a section modulus of 129. Then, 129 
minus 101.4 equals 27.6 to be provided. By referring 
to table No. I, it is seen that two additional 8-inch 
I-beams will be required. 

The spacing of beams must not exceed 2 feet 8 
inches for a concrete floor or 2 feet 0 inch for a plank 
floor. The clear distance between supports should be 
two feet less than the over all length of beams. 


Table I. — Weight and Section Modulus for Standard 
I-Beams and Channels. 






Lbs. per 


Lbs. per 

ore i ion 











































Table II. — Total Section Modulus for I-Beam Spans. 

of Beams 

16' Roadway 

18' Roadway 

20' Roadway 

24' Roadway 




















S • 







10 7 
30 7 










Traffic 24.04 
It is customary to require that the county or town 
make provisions for handling- the traffic. This they 
usually do by closing* the road during construction 
and using a detour. On important roads and usually 
on the State Trunk Highway System, this practice 
should be discouraged and arrangements made for the 
construction of a temporary bridge. The necessary 
information to determine the advisability and cost of 
this procedure will be determined at the time of the 



I,ength of Span 24.05 

The determination of the length of span required 
is a difficult and very important question. Experience 
is the only dependable guide, although there are sev- 
eral sources of information that will help. To call 
for a certain span merely because the existing struc- 
ture is of that size is poor practice unless it is known 
that in times of flood the opening is adequate. 

Always get as complete information regarding flood 
conditions as possible by reasonable inquiry and sup- 
plement this by an examination of high water marks 
at or near the existing bridge. This information 
should be applied to the case at hand with judgment. 
In many cases the knowledge so gained is thoroughly 
dependable, but often a misapprehension exists as to 
true conditions in the minds of the local people. In 
determining the length of span to handle the water, 
the best information can often be obtained by exam- 
ining adjacent bridges up and down the stream. The 
cross section of the water at flood stage may be de- 
termined by adding to the area of the bridge opening, 
the area of the water flowing over the road at these 
points. This will act as a check upon the determina- 
tions at the site of the bridge. 

In large streams, report if there is evidence of much 
drift material or danger from ice, as these influence 
the length of span required. In some cases the 
amount of water at flood stage is so great as to make 
it unwise to try to bridge for these conditions. In 
such cases the road adjacent to the bridge ought to 
be left low to offer as little obstruction as possible. 
The bridge should be so located that the bottom of 
the girder is above the top of the adjacent overflow 

Special Information 24.06 

Report conditions that will make construction es- 
pecially difficult, such as difficult foundations, diffi- 
culty in getting material to the bridge site, and lia- 
bility to sudden and severe floods. Information will 
also be secured as to local gravel and sand pits, and 
where possible, the character of the material ought 
to be investigated. The surveyor should include in 
his report an estimate of the cost of material at the 
bridge site. 

For certain bridges the Federal Department re- 
quires additional information. In order to be on the 
side of safety this should be furnished for all bridges 


having a span of 45 feet or over on federal projects 
and may be summarized as follows: 

1. Velocity of stream. 

2. Elevation of maximum high water and date. 

3. Elevation of normal high water. 

4. Elevation of normal stage. 

5. Elevation of extreme low water. 

6. Amount and character of drift. 

7. Profile and character of stream bed with informa- 

tion relative to liability of scour. 

8. Location and section of test pits and soundings. 

For arches and larger structures, investigation 
of foundation conditions should be thorough 
and where unusual rock conditions exist, should 
show the nature of this rock, whether divided 
by seams or crevices and other caverns or 
pockets, also thickness of strata and character 
of underlying material. 

9. Alignment and grade of approaches and connec- 

tion with future or existing roads nearby. 

10. Photographs of the proposed location and of ex- 

isting bridges nearby. 

11. Any other data which would influence the selec- 

tion of the type of bridge and general fea- 
tures of the design. 

Standard Bridge Plans 24.07 

Before taking up the recommendations for type of 
structure and width of roadway, a list of standards 
which are on file with the bridge department will be 
given. This list includes all the standards, and there- 
fore contains many which are not recommended for 
construction at this time. 

Concrete Slabs: Slabs vary in span -from 6 feet to 24 
feet inclusive, by intervals of 2 feet in 16, 18, 20 and 
24 foot roadway. The span indicated is the clear 

Deck Concrete Girders: Deck girders vary in span 
from 20 feet to 45 feet inclusive, by intervals of 5 
feet in 18, 20 and 24 foot roadway. The span indi- 
cated is the clear span. Plans have also been pre- 
pared for a 50 and 70 foot span, 24 foot roadway. 

Through Concrete Girders: Through girders vary in 
span from 25 feet to, 40 feet inclusive, by intervals of 
5 feet in 16 and 18 foot roadways. The span indi- 
cated is the clear span. 

I-Beams: I-beams vary in span from 10 feet to 38 
feet, inclusive, by intervals of 2 feet in 16, 18 and 20 
foot roadways. The span indicated is the length of 

Plate Girders: Plate girders vary in span from 35 
feet to 80 feet, inclusive, by intervals of 5 feet in 16, 



18 and 20 foot roadways. The span indicated is the 
distance out to out of girders. 

Low Trusses: Low trusses vary in span from 55 f< < i t 
to 85 feet, inclusive, by intervals of 5 feet in 16, 18 
and 20 foot roadways. The span indicated is the dis- 
tance center to center of end bearings. Plans have 
also been prepared for 50, 60, 70, and 80 foot spans, 
20 foot roadway, which meet the requirements of the 
federal department. 

High Trusses: High trusses vary in span as fol- 
lows: 90, 96, 100, 105, 112, 120, 128, 140 and 150 feet 
in 16, 18, and 20 foot roadways. Plans have also been 
prepared for a 90 foot span, 20 foot roadway, which 
meets the requirements of the federal department. 

Concrete Arches: Strain sheets have been prepared 
for arch rings of the following proportions, the first 
figure representing the span in feet and the second 
the rise in feet: 30x6; 30x10; 40x6; 40x10; 40x14; 
45x8; 45x10; 50x8; 55x15; 60x10; 60x15; 70x10; 70x15; 
and 90x12. 

Type of Structure 24.08 

In the early stages of the road movement, the 
bridges were, as a rule, of steel. Its use at that time 
was justified on the grounds of cheapness. The num- 
ber of contractors who were capable of turning out 
a first-class concrete job was limited, as reinforced 
concrete was a new development, and very few of 
them, or the laborers they employed, had had experi- 
ence in its use. As a result of this, some of the ear- 
lier structures show poor workmanship and are not 
at all pleasing to the eye. As time went on, more 
and more concrete bridges were constructed, and bet- 
ter results secured, until at present, with the excep- 
tion of long spans, or in special cases, concrete is 
in almost universal use. Practically all contractors 
can now build a first-class concrete bridge, and the 
public has been gradually educated to appreciate their 
superior appearance. The concrete bridge is more 
durable, lasting and requires less maintenance than 
a steel bridge. It has been decided by the Commis- 
sion that all bridges on the State Trunk Highway 
System and on other important highways up to and 
'including 50-foot spans, be of reinforced concrete, 
either of the slab or deck girder type. 

For spans up to and including 18 feet, the slab is 
recommended. For 20 foot spans, a slab or a deck 
girder may be used. The deck girder is more eco- 


nomical, but takes up SV 2 inches more head room. 
The same holds true for the 24 foot slab span and 
the 25 foot deck girder span. The deck girder is 
more economical, but takes up 6 inches more head 
room. Likewise a 25 foot deck girder is more eco- 
nomical than a 22 foot slab, but takes up 8 inches 
more head room. For spans of 20 to 25 feet it is 
therefore necessary to consider clearances in making 
a recommendation. For spans of 25 to 50 feet, inclu- 
sive, the deck girder is recommended. For over 50 
foot spans the use of trusses and plate girders 
in single or multiple spans or a number of deck con- 
crete girders or arch spans is recommended. Where 
head room permits spans up to 70 feet may be built 
of concrete. 

It is difficult to make a definite recommendation as 
to the type for the larger spans for the reason that 
many things enter into the selection, some of which 
are condition of foundations, depth of water, height 
of bridge, character of stream, location of suitable 
material, and length of haul. If these are properly 
considered, together with the exercise of good judg- 
ment, a proper selection can be made. Deep water 
and poor foundations make piers very expensive, and 
long spans are justified. Low water, good founda- 
tions, and a structure which is not affected by the 
presence of piers justifies multiple deck concrete 
girder spans. 

The cost of plate girders and trusses is practically 
the same, and where the haul from the railway sta- 
tion is not unusually long or difficult, a plate girder 
is generally preferred because as a rule the girders 
are shipped riveted entire, except in the longer spans. 
They may be quickly placed, but require slightly 
heavier equipment than for trusses. On the other 
hand trusses are usually shipped in sections and 
can be handled more easily on long hauls. They re- 
quire, however, that false work be used in erection, 
which is not necessary with plate girders. 

The most graceful type of bridge is the arch. It is 
more adapted to wide roadways and fairly long spans. 
Foundation conditions must be examined very care- 
fully for arches. They are generally more expensive 
than other types of bridges, and therefore should be 
used only where there is sufficient head room and 
where the surroundings are such as would justify the 
extra expense. 

The subject of baluster rails on concrete girdei 
bridges should receive some consideration for bridge*? 



which are located on important roads or near cities. 
A good many have been built which have an excel- 
lent appearance. 

In the above recommendations, it will be noted that 
no mention has been made of through concrete gird- 
ers, or I-beam spans. While there are plans for 
through girders, only a few have been built in the 
last three years. They are uneconomical and give a 
very narrow roadway, and for this reason their con- 
struction is not recommended. I-beam spans on im- 
portant roads, unless over a drainage ditch where a 
removable top must be provided, are not recom- 
mended. A few I-beam spans are still being built on 
unimportant town roads, and in some cases in these lo- 
cations they are perhaps advisable. 

It is the intention of the department in the near 
future to revise and re-draw the standards for trusses 
and plate girders, providing for a minimum span of 
50 feet, and then varying by intervals of 10 feet. 
While there are now low trusses and plate girder 
spans varying at 5 foot intervals, in order to bring 
the above into effect it is recommended that surveyors 
calling for low trusses or plate girders limit the spans 
to 50, 60, 70, and 80 feet. 

As the span lengths for high trusses do not vary 
by any constant interval, it will be necessary in call- 
ing for that type to ask for one of the span lengths 
now in the standards as noted previously. In gen- 
eral, it might be stated that every bridge over 50 feet 
must be considered entirely upon the conditions ex- 
isting at or near the bridge site, supplemented by 
good judgment and information gained by experience 
with similar bridges. 

Slabs and deck girders are built on reinforced con- 
crete abutments. All steel bridges having abutments 
which are of moderate height are built on mass con- 
crete abutments. When the height runs up quite 
high, they should be built of reinforced concrete. 

Roadway 24.09 

No definite recommendations as to width of road- 
way will be made here as comprehensive changes in 
the standards are contemplated in the near future. 
These will be made as a supplementary paragraph to 
be inserted. 

Soundings 24.10 

Complete information must be given as to subsur- 
face conditions. This is secured by means of the 


sounding- rod and earth auger. Even though the sur- 
face has all the appearances of being satisfactory, 
care must be exercised to make sure that the layer 
in view will not be pierced. In emergencies, a 7-16 
inch rod may be borrowed from the local blacksmith, 
but each party should be equipped with an earth 
auger with suitable extension rods. With the earth 
auger the material may be^examined and where the 
sounding rod is used, a more intelligent interpreta- 
tion of the material through which it passes may be 
gained by working- it down rather than by driving 
it with a sledge. 

Soundings should be tied in to a base line or the 
center line and show the elevation and extent of rock 
ledges and the thickness and extent of the various 
layers of material, such as peat, sand, gravel, blue 
clay, etc. When solid matter is encountered, other 
soundings ought to be taken in the near vicinity to 
be sure that the rod has not struck a boulder or iso- 
lated patch of gravel. Soundings must be taken un- 
der the abutments and also under the wings. On 
larger bridges three profiles of soundings will be 
taken, one on the center line of the roadway and the 
other two along the sides of the bridge. Where piers 
are used, the same information should be secured at 
the points where they are located as under the abut- 

Foundations 24.11 

Where there is any doubt as to the bearing power 
of the soil or if any scouring is feared (the coarsest 
gravel will scour in swift water) it is best to specify 
piling. This is certainly first-class insurance in any 
case and does not add greatly to the cost when in- 
cluded in the original contract, but comes very high 
if ordered after the foundations are dug. They 
should be ordered of sufficient length as they can 
easily be cut off if too long, but splicing is a difficult 
and expensive process. If the necessary length is 
uncertain, specify that test piles are to be driven. 

W ins Walls 24.12 

Wing walls are usually at an angle of about 45 de- 
grees, but this should be varied to suit conditions. 
Some uniformity must obtain, however, as it is rare 
that all four wing walls will be of different lengths 
and angles. In case wings are specified at odd length 
or odd angle, give the reason. 


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Skewed Ilridffes 24.13 
In addition to the information called for in the 
blank forms, the report for a skew bridge should 
give complete information in regard to the span, di- 
rection of skew and angle of skew. 

State whether the span called for is measured 
parallel to the center line of roadway or at right 
angles to the face of the abutments. 

The direction of skew is either right hand forward 
or left hand forward. To determine the direction of 
skew stand in the roadway at one end of the bridge 
facing the same. If when in this position the part 
of the abutment on your left is farther away than 
the part on your right the bridge is skewed left hand 
forward. If the reverse is true it is right hand for- 

The angle of skew is the angle between two lines; 
one parallel to the face of the abutments the other 
at right angles to the center line of roadway. 

Bridges in Connection With Road Projects 24.14 
Bridge surveys which are part of a road project are 
tied in to the road survey. In case the bridge survey 
has to do with a proposed bridge which is isolated 
from road construction work, special means must be 
taken to "tie in" the information. A "Bridge Report 
Card," Form DO-7, should be carried into the field 
and all of the information filled in. It is important 
that nothing be omitted. 

On the back of the report card a sketch should be 
made presenting the following information by means 
of dimension lines and the usual conventional repre- 

(1) Location and number of stakes used for refer- 

ence in locating center line of proposed struc- 

(2) Distance along the center line from one sta- 

tion on each side of bridge site to center of 
new span. 

(3) Distance from each stake to new center line 

of road. 

(4) Length of proposed span in the clear. 

(5) Roadway width of proposed span. 

(6) Old span. (This may be merely sketched in from 

measured distances which need not be shown 
on the sketch unless a portion of the old sub- 
structure is to be utilized for the new bridge). 

(7) Location and description of adjacent B. M.'s. 

(8) Arrow indicating the direction of flow of the 



In addition to the sketch of a plan view as noted 
above, sufficient information must be gathered to per- 
mit the preparation in the office of an accurate profile 
along the new center line. 

In one corner of the space reserved for the sketch, 
the following tabulation should appear: 

Elevation New Bridge Floor 111.00 

Elevation New Bridge Seat 110.33 

Elevation Old Bridge Floor 112.50 

Elevation Bottom New Footings 100.00 

Elevation Stream Bed 104.00 

Elevation Ordinary Water 106.50 

Elevation Flood Water 103.00 

Elevation Bench Mark "A" 114.37 

Elevation Bench Mark "B" 115.21 

The actual elevations for the first three items can 
not be filled in in the field because the new grade 
line will not be fixed. The three elevations should, 
however, ultimately appear on the card, which is pre- 
served in the division office files. 

At least one bench mark of permanent character 
* must be located near the new bridge site and the 
elevation accurately referred to the datum of the 
road survey. It is advisable, particularly in the case 
of the longer spans, to locate a bench mark near each 
end of the proposed structure. 

Isolated Bridges 24.15 

The survey for bridges that are not connected with 
road projects is exactly the same as in the procedure 
outlined above with the exception that certain addi- 
tional information is required. This is the informa- 
tion which would ordinarily be obtained in the course 
of a road survey. A satisfactory center line is pro- 
duced which will line up with the existing road and 
stakes are set off as in the road survey. The profile 
of the existing road is taken sufficiently far on each 
side of the bridge to establish the height of the new 
bridge floor. All elevations mentioned above are de- 
termined at once in the field. It is well to keep in 
mind the future possibilities of the road and so place 
the bridge that it will conform to the ultimate loca- 

The reference stakes should be tied in to blazed 
trees or convenient telephone poles and this informa- 
tion will appear on the location sketch which ac- 
companies the bridge plans. The measurements from 
the stakes on each side of the bridge to the center 
of the span and to the face of the abutments must 
be given and a spike set in a convenient tree or tele- 
phone pole at the elevation of the top of the floor of 
the new bridge if possible. In any event, a good sub- 



stantial bench mark will be left at each side of the 
bridge. Bridge surveys are often received which have 
been tied in to road surveys several years old. This 
practice should be discontinued, unless precautions 
arc taken to check up the old stakes and to replace 
them if they are missing-. If the old surveys can not 
be located accurately on the ground, the bridge will 
be lined up and referenced in to new stakes as in the 
case of any isolated bridge. 

Bridge Survey Reports 24.16 

As soon as all of the information can be assembled, 
the surveyor should fill in all of the additional infor- 
mation on Form DO-7, which he started to fill out in 
the field and will then fill out Form 41, which is a 
larger sheet for the information of the bridge depart- 
ment and which carries substantially the same infor- 
mation as the Report Card. 

The bridge survey report on Form 41 must be sub- 
mitted to the Division Engineer for his approval and 
should then be forwarded to the bridge department. 
In the case of isolated bridges, the bridge survey re- 
ports can be cleaned up as soon as the surveyor re- 
turns from the field. In the case of bridges in con- 
nection with road projects, it will be necessary to 
wait until at least part of the plan is computed before 
the Bridge Report is finished. This, however, must 
be done as soon as the grade line is established In 
order that the bridge department may have a chance 
to get out the plans by the time that the finished 
road plan reaches the main office. 

Form DO-7, the Bridge Report Card, should go into 
the division office file under the proper county. 

The accompanying figure shows the proper way to 
fill out a bridge survey report. Particular attention 
should be paid to the sketch and to the tabulated list 
of elevations shown adjacent to the sketch. 


It has been attempted in this pamphlet to emphasize 
again and again the importance of leaving the field 
at the end of the survey with a definite, clean-cut idea 
of how and where the project is to be constructed. 
Surveyors should visualize the complete job in all 
of its details and have the information at hand to 
work it out. 


Important Features 251 

Among- the most important features that must be 
worked out in the field are: 

(1) Location of center line either definitely or 

within certain prescribed limits. 

(2) Depth and height of cuts and fills. 

(3) Limits of required rip rap. 

(4) Limits of overflow sections and heights of 


(5) Location of channel changes and necessary 


(6) Location of guard fence that will not be evi- 

dent on the cross sections. 

(7) Determination of necessary grading at private 

drives and cross roads. 

(8) Determination of amount of "day lighting" on 


(9) Limits of clearing and grubbing, each element 


(10) Designation of any trees which should not be 


(11) Final check up on drainage at all points on 

the road. 

(12) Determination of heights and sizes of culverts 

and bridges. 

(13) Study of the relation of new lines and local 

conditions and property concerned. 

Plan Work In the Field 252 

The traverse and profile should be platted up each 
night and center line and grades carefully checked. 
This preliminary plan will be useful when making 
preliminary inspections with the federal engineer. 
When this is done it is possible to locate the culverts 
definitely and determine the required headroom and 
in fact do a large part of the changing and adjusting 
at this time, which causes the ragged appearance of 
a great many of the plans. In fact, it is possible 
to check up most of the doubtful points, and on new 
locations especially, much office time can be saved. 
Where preliminary lines and paper locations are 
necessary, of course the field office work assumes 
larger proportions. Even on the average survey, it is 
often possible to leave the job with the entire plan 
platted upon federal paper and ready to be inked in. 
The necessary paper and equipment will be furnished 
by the department and in the larger parties equipped 
with a motor truck, a good sized drafting board may 
easily be carried. In any event, however, the sur- 
veyors should make every effort to check up their 



work at the hotel in the evening and determine if all 
the required information has been secured. 

Final Check Up 253 

Before leaving the job, a final check up will be made 
with plans in hand and the drainage situation studied 
carefully. The final determination of the size of the 
culverts should be made," after a study of the size 
and steepness of the drainage areas. There are cer- 
tain theoretical formulas which may be used, but 
they are of little real value. Character of the ma- 
terial in the stream bed often influences the size, as 
with steep drainage areas the openings must often be 
large enough to allow good sized rocks to pass through. 
Special design should be called for under heavy fills 
and where there is a decided difference in elevation 
between the two sides of the road, drop inlets or 
broken back culverts may frequently be used to stop 
erosion and prevent the culverts from filling. In 
rough country, especially designed barrels are often 
necessary and the profile of the stream must be de- 
termined accurately. The necessity for breaker walls 
will be determined at this time. 

In level country especial care must be taken to see 
that the notes indicate as to whether or not the cul- 
vert will drain. Outlets of pot holes or low places 
should be shown even though they are several hun- 
dred feet from the road. The notes must show a 
definite recommendation as to outlet elevations. 
Where piling is required, it should be specified under 
the barrel as well as the end walls. Quite frequently 
it is possible to move a culvert in a marsh to a point 
where the length of the piling will be reduced. 

Soundings should be platted up and the profile of 
the layers of sub-surfaced material shown. All swamps 
should be sounded, no matter how insignificant in 


Character of Operations* of Department 261. 

It should be understood by all engineers that the 
surveying activities of the department fall into two 
general classes: federal aid work and state aid work. 
The federal aid work is financed roughly one-third 
by the federal government, one-third by the county, 
and one-third by the state, the construction contract 
being between the contractor and the state, of Wiscon- 
sin. All work performed in connection with these 


projects is under the direct supervision of the state, 
and the county acts only in an advisory capacity. 

The state aid work, on the other hand, is financed 
jointly by the counties, the state and the township and 
is executed by the county under the supervision of the 
highway department. 

Surveys 262. 

As a result of this arrangement, the surveys on 
federal work are handled directly by the division 
office, while on state aid work, the counties in most 
cases hire the highway department to make them for 
them. Where they do, the department furnishes the 
engineer and at times other assistants, but only at 
the request of the county. The transportation from 
the local railway station, the help, and the necessary 
stakes are furnished by the county. Transportation 
from the division office and traveling expenses are 
paid by the surveyor and later charged to the county. 

On state aid surveys, the general arrangements are 
made by the division office, and the surveyor instruct- 
ed to report to the county commissioner at some des- 
ignated point. The commissioner then makes all the 
detailed arrangements for men, material, and trans- 
portation. If upon arrival at his destination, the 
surveyor finds that this has not been done, he should 
immediately get in touch with the commissioner. 
It must be remembered that all the cost is being 
borne by the county, and expenses other than ordin- 
ary traveling expenses should not be incurred with- 
out its approval. The method of charging time to 
state aid work will be discussed under another head- 

Classification of State Aid Surveys 2621 

State aid surveys may be said to fall into three 
general classes: 

First: Bond issue surveys. 

Second: Surveys for contract work financed in the 
ordinary manner. 

Third: Surveys which would be built by the county 
day labor forces. 
Surveys for bond issue construction and all other 
contract work should be executed in the same way 
and with all the refinements that the federal aid 
field work is done. In many cases, these surveys 
require a greater degree of skill and thoroughness 
than many of the federal jobs. 

In case the work is to be done by county forces, 
some modifications are necessary, as in most instances 



the work will not be staked out by the department. 
The reference stakes should be left In locations where 
they will not be disturbed by construction, and extra 
stakes set at drainage structures. Every possible cause 
of confusion must be eliminated, and it should be kept 
in rnind that the men who will stake out the work 
are not engineers. 

Some time in the field may, perhaps, be saved by not 
running- the transit line on the proposed center line, 
but none of the work should be slighted at any time. 
Quite frequently jobs which have been planned as 
day labor work resolved themselves into contract 
work, and on all surveys the engineer should aim to 
have his notes complete and full and be in a position 
to properly design the project without additional 
field work. If it is known at the time that the work 
will be staked out by the department, stakes should 
b© left on the transit line on new locations and as 
on all other work, the standard procedure followed. 
Before beginning any state aid survey, the engineer 
ought to classify his. job and determine what his plan 
of procedure is to be. 

Procedure 2622 

Quite frequently the help furnished by the county 
is not trained in surveying work, and consequently 
the same standard of efficiency can not be expected. 
The surveyor should give these assistants careful and 
explicit instructions in their duties and must not be 
impatient or discouraged if he is not able to produce 
as good results as he would like. He should bear in 
mind the conditions^ under which he is working and 
attempt to adapt himself to them, and he will gener- 
ally find that the local people are able to give him 
advice and information that will be of great assist- 
ance in the design of his job. 

It is often necessary to operate with a three-men 
party, but with a little ingenuity, it is frequently 
possible to speed up the work very materially. The 
engineer must realize that it will be necessary for him 
to do a large part of the work personally and should 
try to set the pace himself. He will be careful not to 
depend too much on his assistants and must be on 
the alert to catch errors in chaining and in levels. 

Where possible the surveyor should get acquainted 
with the town chairmen or some other influential 
and well-to-do farmers in the community where he is 
working, as the information which he can secure 
from them in regard to the history of the road in 
question and as to general conditions in the locality 









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will be of considerable value to him in his other work. 
Engineers of the department will find that the months 
or years spent on state aid surveys will result in a 
broad acquaintance and general knowledge of road 
conditions that will be of inestimable value to them 
later when they come to hold administrative and 
executive positions. They will also find that the op- 
portunities for meeting people and making friends when 
employed on this work can not be excelled. 


Policy of the Department 271 

On virtually all of the federal work and other jobs 
where engineering inspectors are employed or men 
from the division office available for staking out, the 
practice of furnishing a grade sheet on the original 
plans is being discontinued. In most cases, on con- 
tract work at least, the practice of re-cross sectioning 
is well established. An effort will be made to have 
an engineer available for all the larger jobs, especial- 
ly new locations, and it seems advisable to adopt 
some method of recording the field work that men 
^ay be used interchangeably. 

Procedure in Staking Out 272 

Where stakes have been left on the transit line, 
these must be moved over, missing stakes replaced, 
slope stakes set, and drainage structures staked out. 
In running curves, tangents should be produced to 
an intersection and the angle measured where any 
considerable number of stakes are missing. A method 
of recording these notes that has proved satisfactory 
is indicated. The surveyor shows the elevation and lo- 
cation of the new stakes, indicates the "check" where the 
old ones (O. S. ) are in place, shows in his notes the loca- 
tion of the slope stakes and the new stakes set at drain- 
age structures. He takes a new reading on the center line 
as established and shows on the right hand page of his 
book the computations used in arriving at the Aboves 
and Belows and cuts and fills for the grade sheet. 
Elevations of new subgrades are indicated by a dash 
on each side of the figure. The blank grade sheet on 
the plans is then filled in with pencil, the original to 
be inked in in the office. 

Where location sketches are necessary for drainage 
structures, he gives one to the foreman or inspector 
and makes a copy in his notes. This may be done 
by slipping a carbon sheet behind the note book 



page. Sharp curves should be double staked; that 
is, a reference stake left on both sides of the road, 
and where possible at least two stakes will be set at 
drainage structures. Only stakes on which elevations 
are taken should appear in the notes. Line stakes 
need appear only in the location sketch. Where it 
is necessary to take new cross sections at this time, 
which is generally the case on heavy work, a stake 
should be left on both ends of the section to establish 
it definitely when the work is re-cross sectioned at 

Sta. — 

Above or 
Below — ^ 

Cut or 
Fill — 

S\op e ^ 


F 1.2 



the end of the job. A method of marking stakes is 
indicated which gives all the information for that 
particular station which has been found very satis- 
factory to contractors. These marks may be made 
with pencil and will g-enerally last until the construc- 
tion work is finished. 

The notes must follow a definite system and all 
computations or other information be so plainly re- 
corded that any other engineer can take the book 
and have a complete record of the methods employed 
by his predecessor. Dates will be indicated and any 
important work or statements made to contractors 
which may have a bearing on the final payment or 
policy of the division engineer in dealing with the 
contractor should be included. It will be explained 
to contractors that the department will furnish ref- 
erence stakes only, and that all center line stakes, 
slope stakes, and help must be furnished by them. 


Re-Cross Sectioning 


In all re-cross sectioning- operations the inspector 
should be a member of the party. If this is not pos- 
sible, a summary of all extra work and special 
conditions should be in the hands of the surveyor. 
Hie field work must be carefully and accurately done, 
and all levels checked on the bench marks of the 
primary line with the H. I.'s corrected at each one. 
The actual re-cross sectioning should be done from 
the transit line as a great many of the old stakes 
will be missing. If the original work was done from 
the transit line, the two sections will be found to fit 
very closely. The transit line may be marked with 
red cloth or in any other convenient way, and all 
sections should be taken in exactly the same places 
that the original ones were. If these were plainly 
marked by plus stakes and additional reference stakes, 
the work will be very much simplified. 

The re-cross sectioning party must secure all the 
information necessary for the final estimate. This 
will include square feet of surfacing, linear feet of 
curb and gutter, lienar feet of guard fence, square 
yards or cubic yards of rip rap, yardage in culverts, 
borrow pits, cross roads, private drives, channel 
changes, drainage ditches, and intercepting ditches. 
Ledge rock may be measured up, but loose rock quan- 
tities are generally determined by estimating. The 
inspectors classification should be used. If it is pos- 
sible to secure definite information from the cuts as 
to the amount of rock, this should, of course, be done 
to serve as a check. 

The results of the re-cross sectioning will be a very 
g-ood index of the care and accuracy that has been em- 
ployed at all stages of the survey. The results secured 
should be such that the work may be checked by an- 
other engineer within 5 per cent.